Alex and the Drummer


Children - Social Issues
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/14/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Barbara Fanson for Readers' Favorite

A wonderful story based on a real-life experience. The driver—the mother—is very sensitive to the needs of her son who is on the Autism Spectrum. She understands that any change in routine can be difficult and demonstrates how asking nicely for a change can result in success for all. The children’s book Alex and the Drummer can be an eye-opener for family members, teachers, and educators dealing with unique children. Author Laura Hales writes about a difficult subject with a sensitive and comforting pen. Illustrator Myrah Shariff uses bold colors in the artwork. Libraries, schools, and families may find the book helpful and it reminds us that simple requests and changes can alter another person’s day. Perhaps, it will make the Construction Worker think before he deflates something.

Alex and the Drummer showcases a young person on the Autism Spectrum who finds a change in routine can be troublesome. He enjoys going past an inflated drummer on his way to school, but when the drummer gets unplugged, Mom reacts quickly. A few kind words can instigate a change in scenery and attitude. Author Laura Hales demonstrates how moms and educators can observe children, understand their concerns, and advocate for change quietly but effectively. Bold, full-color, and eye-catching illustrations by artist Myrah Shariff fill the pages and assist in telling the story. Teachers may find this book a good reminder in dealing with unique children. Schools and public libraries may find this book beneficial to demonstrate how to get things corrected or changed.

Pikasho Deka

Alex and the Drummer by Laura Hales is a short story about a child on the autistic spectrum who has recently moved to a new school. With some colorful illustrations by Myrah Shariff, the book follows Alex, who is somewhat nervous about joining a new school despite the care and support from his mother and his new teachers. Alex has a hard time doing things out of his daily routine. One day while his mother is driving him to school, Alex sees an inflatable Drummer playing outside a cell phone store, rhythmically pounding on his instrument. Feeling an instant connection, Alex keeps an eye out for his favorite Drummer every time he goes to school. After he notices the Drummer sleeping on the sidewalk one day, Alex joins him to give him company. Will the Drummer ever play for Alex again?

A moving story about a child on the autistic spectrum forging a connection with an inflatable Drummer on the sidewalk, Alex and the Drummer is emotionally resonant and a joy to read. Author and Autism Advocate Laura Hales masterfully captures the complex emotions going through a child's mind by narrating the story from the Drummer's perspective. Like Alex, the Drummer feels a bit confused and out of his element when he is not performing his routine. The two of them feel like kindred spirits who recognize each other due to their shared qualities. The vibrant illustrations by Myrah Shariff bring the characters to life, making them all the more relatable. A beautiful story for parents and children alike.

Melinda Facal

Alex and the Drummer is a wonderful children’s book written by Laura Hales with illustrations by Myrah Shariff. This engaging story highlights the power of compassion and demonstrates how small everyday moments can profoundly affect our lives. While on the way to a new school, Alex, a young boy on the Autism Spectrum, notices an inflated drummer that stands outside a store. Not many people give any attention to this animated drummer playing his drum loudly for all to hear. Alex’s mother notices her son’s interest in the drummer and how it brightens Alex’s day each time they pass the drummer. The drummer becomes a joyful moment of connection as Alex and his mother drive to school each day. Vibrant and detailed illustrations vividly capture the range of emotions shared throughout this story.

Laura Hales’ Alex and the Drummer beautifully conveys the tremendous love and compassion between a mother and her child. Alex’s mother is so attuned to her son that she immediately understands the importance of the drummer and the positive effect he has on Alex. Wanting her son to have a peaceful transition to a new school, this cheerful drummer quickly becomes an integral part of their morning drive. Alex and the Drummer also shares a poignant reminder to slow down, to be present and more aware of the world around us. Most people rush by the drummer and are not even aware of his presence, but Alex notices the drummer and is delighted to see him every day. Parents, teachers, and caregivers will value this book and will easily relate to Alex and his mother. Alex and the Drummer is a highly recommended and enjoyable read.