Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Jungle Drums

Base, Graeme (Author/Illustrator)
Abrams 2004. 40 pages
First published: 2004
ISBN: 9780810950443 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, figurative language, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Ngiri Mdogo is the smallest warthog in Africa and is often teased about his size. After an old wildebeest gives Ngiri some magic drums, along with a warning that “wishes can come true, but not always as you expect,” strange things begin to happen. Things he didn’t exactly wish for. But the real solution to his problem comes in the form of a lesson to everyone that inner beauty is what truly counts.

This fable is perfect for reading aloud. Expressions in capital letters evoke the drama and turmoil of the “beautiful” animals across the river who are horrified to discover that their markings have either disappeared or reappeared on different animals. They look “RIDICULOUS,” for example, and they accuse the warthogs of putting “A SPELL ON US!”

Large, bright illustrations, filled with energy and humour, depict the endearing characters against a stunning African backdrop, infused with an element of magic and fantasy.

An author’s challenge at the end of the story – to find a hidden animal on its pages – invites repeated readings. A Swahili pronunciation guide will help readers with the animal names.

  •  Stop reading when Old Nyumbu fades into the bushes. Predict what Ngiri will wish for. What do you think will happen based on the wildebeest’s warning? If you could have one wish what would it be?
  •  

    What is the moral of this story? What did Ngiri and the other animals learn about themselves and one another? Finish this sentence: It’s fine to be . . . .

  •  

    What does Hakuna Matata (also Swahili) mean and how can it be applied to this story? Turn to the last page to learn the meaning of the animal names in Swahili.

  •  

    As per the author's suggestion, find Old Nyumbu hidden in every spread. What do you notice about the animals before and after Ngiri plays the drums?

  •  

    As a class, take a picture walk to determine the setting of and characters in the story. What emotions do you see on the animals’ faces? Predict what the story will be about.

  •  

    Make a story map with the setting, characters, problems and solutions. Include adjectives that describe the animals. Retell the story.

  •  

    Discuss how the animals judged each other at the beginning of the story. How did this change? Give each of the animals a personality trait (e.g. the wildebeest is wise).

  •  

    Make a poster of a jungle animal and include a written description. Display it in the classroom.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Physical Education and Health