Kids Review: In My Neighborhood (Oscar Loubriel and Rogerio Coelho)


About This Book:

A beautifully realized city inhabited by musical instruments

A search for one’s place in the world provides the storyline: The narrator, a drum, feels like an outcast because he alone―unlike his family and friends―cannot play a melody. Like all kids growing up, he must find out where he fits.

The narrator, a drum, wanders the streets of Coelho’s vividly realized city of musical instruments―where even the birds sprout miniature trumpets from their mouths―feeling like an outcast because he alone, among all his family and neighbors, can’t play a melody. He adores his violin brother, cello father, and piano mother but feels he has nothing to offer to their music. search for identity in a city of musical instruments.

"My father is Cello, and oh, what a fellow.The tone of his laugh is low, smooth, and mellow.But me? My name’s Drum. BOOM-CLACK, RAT-A-TAT.My head is a snare and I wear a hi-hat.My stomach’s a bass drum, my arms are drumsticks,and my only song is CLICK-CLACK, CLACK-CLICK."

But one day a trio of saxophones ask him to join their band, and what they tell him gives him an epiphany "So that’s what a drum does! I now understand.I don’t carry a tune; I carry a band." But he must still prove it to himself, and that takes all his courage.

Loubriel’s story of bravery and identity, infused with Latin rhythms and joy, provides a fine vehicle for Coelho’s vibrant technique and palette. Coelho’s city of music bursts with exuberance. In backmatter,Loubriel, a lifelong drummer, explains how the drum kit lays a song’s foundation. The bass drum is the heartbeat; the hi hat is the dynamic metronome; the snare drum is the drum kit’s singer.


*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer and Assistant Blog Manager*

Charming picture book read
IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD is a lyrical celebration of music, family, and community. In this neighborhood, all the residents are instruments, but the drums feels a little out of place - not like the other members of his family or community who can carry a melody. However, soon, the drums realizes that he may not carry the melody, but he carries the band, and he begins to play with others and his family to create beautiful music.

What I loved: This is an absolutely lovely book to listen to, with great rhythm to the text, which is told in poetic rhyme. The accompanying illustrations are really stunning with lots of great details and anthropomorphized instruments. The themes of family and community will resonate with young children who may feel a bit different or are not sure how they contribute to the world around them, and the beauty of music to bring everyone together is conveyed throughout the story.

This is definitely a story that children will want to read and re-read, with each reading adding to the meaning and understanding of the story. The text is a little small but clear and easy to read, and it really rolls so smoothly off the tongue with the rhythm and rhyme being spot-on.

Final verdict: With beautifully detailed and artistic illustrations, important themes, and lyrical text, IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD is a delightful picture book read about finding your own special role, community, family, and, of course, the power of music. Highly recommend for preschool aged readers and up.


*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

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