DRUMMER BOY. By Loren Long. 40 pages. For ages 4-8.

You’ve heard the holiday song “The Little Drummer Boy,” so it should come as no surprise that a book titled “Drummer Boy” is inspired by the familiar tune.

One winter’s day, a snappy little drummer figurine appears on a child’s doorstep. The boy immediately forms a bond with the drummer and loves listening to him play. But things get a twist when the drummer ends up going on an improbable journey around town; carried around by a variety of animals.

He plays for everyone who will listen and brings peace to them all. When the boy finally finds the drummer again, it is in the cemetery next to his grandfather’s grave. The boy is filled with peace and the Christmas spirit. Back home, he places the drummer in the Nativity scene.

It’s a cute and sentimental story, but what makes this picture book special are Long’s beautiful acrylic illustrations. They offer grandeur and scale that draw the reader into each scene. The story may leave a little to be desired, but the illustrations more than make up for it.

McGeath Freeman is a columnist for Lowcountry Parent. Send email to editor@lowcountryparent.com.