Interest Level: Ages 4-8
Guided Reading Level: I
Lexile Level: 510L
Book ISBN: 978-0-874838-02-2

This timeless story from India is about a poor boy's dream of having his own drum. His mother is very poor and cannot afford to buy her son the one thing in the world that he really wants. The poor boy's dream takes him on one of the most unlikely journeys and ultimately leads to attaining his dream. The folktale begins with his mother bringing home a magical stick that was given to her by a strange, little old man. The boy takes the stick with him on his journey and along the way he finds people in need of help. He offers them what little he has and they of course repay him with whatever they have in return. By the end of the story, his series of good deeds leads him to a traditional wedding ceremony where he saves the wedding day for the bride and groom when he presents them with a horse. In return, for his good deed, he receives a drum like the one he was dreaming of at the beginning of the story.


Rob Cleveland adapts this traditional story from India to show how a poor, young boy’s generosity to share his good fortune can eventually lead to unexpected happiness. This folktale provides valuable life lessons in character values about taking responsibility, sharing with others, and caring about other people. The boy is genuinely grateful for what little he has and he continues to make sacrifices and share his belongings to help others. Throughout the story, he consistently places the needs of others before his own desires and in the end his good deeds bring him his own good fortune. This lesson in generosity, caring for other people, and sharing our good fortune with those around us has universal appeal, so it can be understood and celebrated by any culture.


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