A few weeks ago I was out shopping for books for Ezra. I found this book in a stack of free books in a sweet little used bookstore in Nampa. I grabbed it because of the author's name. I sing this book to Ezra and he loves it. I love the art in this story book and the story itself makes me cry sometimes when I sing it to him because the meaning within the pages is very tender. I had never really paid attention to the words in this song until now and it hit home. It's about a little boy that is going on a journey with the wise men to see the baby jesus. The wise men are bringing precious gifts fit for a king, and the little drummer boy believes he has nothing to offer that is fit for a king. Then he asks Mary if he can play his drums for the baby and she says yes. The ox and lamb keep time as he plays his drums and the most poignant part of the story occurs as he sings "I played my drum for him pa rum pum pum pum, I played my best for him pa rum pum pum pum...then he smiled at me..." I'm playing my best for you Ezra. I just want you to know. I love you. The artwork in this story book is so beautiful. I looked up the artist online and was truly amazed by what I learned about this man and I found his artwork to be truly amazing and inspired. Check him out here. Many of his stories illustrate family life, the simple pleasures and more complex problems, that a child often encounters in his daily routine. Some of the connections I thought were cool and interesting were: 1-His growing up during the great depression and the struggle between being practical and following the heart 2- Choosing to work to support his family instead of being able to go to school and having to follow his passion on the side, but eventually being able to pursue it wholeheartedly 3-The first children's book he ever illustrated was called Jubilant for Sure 4-Keats first attempt at writing his own children's book was published in 1960-- (the same year Murv-- Ezra's dad-- was born). He illustrated over 85 books and wrote and illustrated 25 children's classics... So Ezra and I are officially starting our collection. If you ever want to send Ezra a gift-- one of Ezra Jack Keats books would be a great idea! My goal is to collect all of them for him and to read them to him regularly. I hope they will inspire him throughout his life, and help us create a meaningful tradition which will instill a love of words, art and cultivating his gifts and talents.