Skip to content
Hardcover Drummer Hoff Book

ISBN: 0671662481

ISBN13: 9780671662486

Drummer Hoff

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Acceptable

Save $15.30!
List Price $19.99

1 Available

Book Overview

A rhyming, vibrantly illustrated picture book based on the folk song of seven soldiers. Ed Emberley won the 1968 Caldecott Medal for his bold illustrations for Barbara Emberley's jaunty adaptation of the cumulative folk song about soldiers who build a magnificent cannon and Drummer Hoff, who fires it off.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Magnificent art to detail a poem not easily forgotten.

My grandmother had been in elementary teacher and as we live next door I frequented her bookshelves full of children's literature. This book I always found on the shelf and loved for the illustrations and the fantastic ending. As my parents have moved away it has become a part of my collection. I read it to my son who is nearly four. And he loves it! It is definitely one of his favorites. I relish the memories from my childhood of being read to by my parents and grandparents as I read it to him.

Drummer Hoff Hits a Home Run

I found the reviews of Drummer Hoff to be very interesting, particularly the parts about what this book meant to my fellow readers in their youth. My take is a little different however. As a mom with two young children (38 months and almost 5) I am constantly looking for books of all sorts to read to them. I particularly like books that my kids love enough to memorize on their own. In this light, Drummer Hoff is a complete hit. The drawings are so intense and interesting that my son brings the book to me all the time... or did. Now that we all know it by heart we take turns reciting it as we play on the lawn. And while it is true, as some have noted, that it does not have an obvious beginning, middle, and end, it does still tell a story. And this book serves its purpose the same way many of the old rhymes do. It teaches diction, vocabulary and memory skills: all of which are early reading aids. This mom and dad give it 5 stars. Pam T~

A bold and rhythmic cumulative folk verse

Emberley's Drummer Hoff is a cumulative folk verse describing the assembly of a cannon before it can be fired. Not a story with a beginning, middle, and end, the text of Drummer Hoff, adapted by Barbara Emberley, progresses through military ranks as seven soldiers play separate roles in preparing a cannon in a grassy field. The text playfully rhymes the names of the soldiers with the portion of the cannon they bring and the rhythm and repetition suggest a military cadence, appropriate to the theme. The illustrations are woodcuts with bold lines and intense colors printed on textured, laid paper. With the old-fashioned style of the type and the illustrations, the story has a timeless feel, though the rich colors keep it vibrant and current. As each new soldier appears on the scene, the illustration becomes more elaborate with less and less white space until finally the General gives the order to fire. The story literally concludes with a bang, with the pages completely saturated in color and line representing the cannon's dramatic explosion. As a sort of anti-war epilogue, the final page of the story shows the cannon overgrown with flowers and home to nesting birds and a spider web.

First the wadding, then the powder, then the shot...

Okay, I'm gonna put this book in context for you. It's 1968. America is unofficially (according to all "reputable" sources) at war in Vietnam. It's the sixties. People are experimenting with drugs and the whole psychedelic scene. Enter the Caldecott Award winning, "Drummer Hoff". To the person who was writing the book jacket flap, this story, "will inspire a smart salute and a march about the room". To anyone who reads this book today, however, this is quintessential anti-war propaganda. And it's a marvelous read.Throughout this tale, Drummer Hoff (who fired it off) and his fellow bespangled soldiers, officers, corporals, etc. construct, before our eyes, a canon. As the verses continue we see each member of the company adding his own touch to the proceedings. For example, Corporal Farrell brings the barrel. Major Scott brings the shot. You get the idea. This all culminates with General Border who, in the end, gives the order and Drummer Hoff (finally abandoning his baton) fires it off. Suddenly the world is engulfed in blood red smoke, Hoff knocked slightly to one side, the extravagantly illustrated word, "KAHBAHBLOOOM" appearing. In our final scene the canon sits there, abandoned by the men. Baby birds grow in its mouth. The name of the canon (Sultan) has been buried and we now only see a smiling sun on its side. Grasshoppers frolic, a spider spins its web, and flowers are everywhere. Make of it what you willSo let's look at it again. The words are very much like an old English series of verses. They could be 40 years old or 400. Now look at the illustrations. I think I'm truthful in saying that I have never read a children's book that looked like this. From the odd thick black lines that permeate every tiny detail of each page to the delicate trussing up of each member of the army, this book is fabulous. I just stare at the double page spread of the canon firing and I'm agog. It may not be drug induced, but this book certainly had something to say about its copyright date. Honestly, you've never seen a story like this before. Today we are living in a time when violence and war seem as normal as bacon and ham. With the world around us as dangerous as it is, the time has never been better to pull out our older copies of "Drummer Hoff" so as to take another gander. Read it through carefully. Appreciate the beauty of its lines and pictures. Then turn to that last page and just ponder it for a while. The book deserves that much, at least.

Shared reader

Don't pick apart the text too much, it won't make much sense to adults. Just be assured that within the first minute, any child will be completely engaged by the brilliant, somewhat old fashioned woodcut pictures and by the second or third reading will be crowing the refrain "fired it off!" with abandoned glee.We finally discovered a paperback edition while at the Presidio bookstore in San Francisco, thereby giving the library copy a much needed rest. Yes, it ends abruptly and leaves me perplexed as to what exactly happened, but my children simple accept it as is and really enjoy testing their memories with cumulative rhymes.
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured