Ten Oni Drummers / Diez tamborileros oni


Ten Oni Drummers / Diez tamborileros oni
Hardcover book

$17.95 / U.S.A. ISBN: 978-1889910-536

Written by Matthew Gollub

Illustrated by Kazuko Stone

Ages 4-8. 32 pages. Full color


This imaginative rhyming bedtime story introduces children to taiko drumming and Japanese numbers while offering comfort from scary dreams. A young boy is joined by one, two, then three tiny oni. The colorful goblins continue to grow in number and size as they frolic and beat their drums through the night until at last their lively drumming chases away the boy’s nighttime fears.

Parents and teachers of grades pre-K-2nd love reading this story aloud, and children love repeating the raucous counting chant one line one line at a time. Now a perfect pick for bilingual storytime, the oni drummers introduce Japanese culture to English and Spanish speakers alike.

Alone on a beach, in Japan, a boy sees a tiny oni (OH-nee) creeping up from the sand. Soon there are two, then three of the colorful goblins, each with its own number written in kanji on its back. The cumulative counting chant begins: “Ichi, ni, san tun-tun. One, two, three, around they run!” As they beat their taiko drums they grow bigger and more numerous. They carry on wildly, devour their dinner, smiling with crooked fangs and red eyes. What will they do with their very largest drum once all ten towering oni are assembled? With bright watercolor paintings, Stone draws on the folk culture of her native Japan to portray the monsters as both frightening and funny. The author’s note further introduces Japanese taiko, oni, and kanji. A chart at the end shows how to draw and pronounce the Japanese numbers one through ten, symbols understood not just in Japan but in China and Korea too!Critical Acclaim:

Critical Acclaim:

“Perfect fare for fans of wild rumpuses—with an afterword that includes background information on oni (Japanese monsters), taiko (Japanese drums), and charts for writing 1-10 in kanji script.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A delightful and unique offering to fill requests for bedtime and counting books.”      School Library Journal

The Story Begins:

In dreams I gaze upon the sand,

beneath the full moon, in Japan.

I taste the salty wind and sea…

En sueños contemplo la arena,

en Japón, bajo la luna llena. 

Saboreo el mar y el viento salado…


…and sometimes I have company.

One oni by the shore,

rears its head and calls for more.

…y a veces estoy acompañado.

Un solo oni junto al mar,

la cabeza saca para a otros llamar.


Two tiny oni creep,

grunt and shake off years of sleep.

Dos oni chicos se enderezan,

gruñen y se desperezan. 


Three oni, eyes aglow,

taiko drumming makes them grow.

Tres oni, los ojos brillantes,

tocando su taiko, se hacen más grandes.


Ichi, ni, san, TUN-TUN!

One two three, around they run!

¡Ichi ni san! ¡PAM-PAM-PAM!

Uno dos tres, ¡cuántas vueltas dan!


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