Drummer Boy of John John


Carnival is coming, and the villagers of John John, Trinidad, are getting ready to jump up and celebrate with music, dancing, and a parade. Best of all, the Roti King has promised free rotis, and tasty fried pancakes filled with chicken, herbs, and spices for the best band in the parade. Young Winston dreams of feasting on those delicious rotis. But there s a problem: he s not in a band! Pondering his predicament as he wanders through the village junkyard, Winston makes a curious musical discovery that may be just the ticket to realizing his dream. With ingenuity and the help of his friends, Winston takes on the Carnival bands, drumming his way to victory and to the Roti King s prized treat. Musical text and sun-drenched paintings joyously transport readers to the Caribbean, and to this exuberant story inspired by the early life of Winston Spree Simon, a pioneer in the development of the steel drum.


For additional connections and exploration of themes, pair these field trip and activity ideas with Drummer Boy of John John. Check out activities and discussion questions to teach about and celebrate drums.