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Seasonal - October 2022

Strum and Drum
A Merry Little Quest
By (author): Jashar Awan
Jashar Awan


Tundra Books



Product Form:



Children: Age (years) 3 - 7, Grade (US) P - 2
Oct 04, 2022
$24.99 CAD


6.81in x 9.62 x 0.45 in | 0.79 lb

Page Count:

56 pages


Tundra Books
JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent
A pair of Christmas tree ornaments set out on the merry adventure of a lifetime in this imaginative picture book about the inner lives of holiday decorations.

All is quiet in the forest as the Great Star rises in the distance, and two little musicians, Strum and Drum, wake up from a deep slumber and set out to make the most joyous music they can! But as Strum strums his guitar and Drum drums her drum on their way to the North, some mysterious obstacles fill their paths…flickering lanterns, bubbles of glass, a silver waterfall, a tiny house, dangerous animals…and a wooden man with a toothy grin warns them of a beast with green eyes lying in wait. For this is no ordinary forest — it’s a Christmas tree, on Christmas Eve, and Strum, Drum and all their new friends are ornaments! But when the green-eyed beast strikes and sends them tumbling out of the “forest,” Strum and Drum’s quest to reach the Great Star seems doomed…until a little boy setting out milk and cookies for Santa spots them. 

UNIQUE AND FUN CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE: A delightful, non-denominational Christmas story with unusual heroes that young readers will love, reminiscent of holiday Claymation classic kids films, and sure to be a holiday favorite for years to come. Kids will love discovering the connections between the adventures and holiday ornaments.

INCIDENTALLY DIVERSE HERO: Strum is a brown boy, which helps set this Christmas tale apart.

FLYING START: Jashar is an author/illustrator who is getting a lot of buzz and was among six debut authors spotlighted by Publishers Weekly in their Fall 2020 Flying Starts.

DYNAMIC ART: The book incorporates two distinct art styles: one is bright, bold and stylized in the vein of J. Otto Seibold’s Olive, the Other Reindeer for the world of Strum and Drum; the other is black and white, and reminiscent of Chris Van Allsburg’s Polar Express or Jumanji, for the “real” world outside the tree.

RELATABILITY: Strum and Drum’s determination to “stretch their legs, sing as loud as they can and make the most joyous music they can make” is something we all identify with in the wake of the pandemic. This is a tale about the persistence of joy!

WIDE APPEAL: Christmas! Adventure! Music! An imaginative story with striking art that will speak to buyers across channels.

GREAT GIFT BOOK: The smaller size of this picture book makes it a perfect stocking stuffer or gift under the Christmas tree.

JASHAR AWAN is an author-illustrator. His debut picture book, What a Lucky Day!, met with critical acclaim. His most recent book, Only Ants for Andy, wasone of five “Books for Young Children” selected for the 2023 & 2024 Choose to Read Ohio Booklist. Before turning his talents to literature for children, Jashar was a frequent art contributor to The New Yorker, particularly their “Goings On About Town” section. He has also illustrated for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal and Dark Horse Comics. In December 2020, he was profiled by Publishers Weekly in their “Fall 2020 Flying Starts” as one of the most promising children’s debut authors. A longtime New Yorker, Jashar now lives in Ohio with his wife and son.

Author Residence: Hudson, Ohio

Publicity: Animated gif

Holiday activities

Author Website: www.jasharawan.com

Author Social Media: @jasharawan

“This clever Christmas tale uses two distinct drawing styles to shift perspective. The surprising ending will have readers returning for a second, or even third, look.” —School Library Journal

“[A] dreamy, candy-colored world in which adventure and danger lurk…that will have readers quickly flipping back to the book’s beginning to launch the journey with fresh eyes.” —Publishers Weekly

”Awan’s enchanting, stylized illustrations are effectively varied, heightening the little drama…. Don’t worry, Strum and Drum reach the Great Star, where they make music from on high.“ —The Horn Book

”[A] cheerful Christmas tale that will bring a smile to young readers." —Seattle Book Review

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