Although tablay hand drums, the principal percussion instruments in Hindustani classical music, are traditionally played by men, they are the favourite instruments of a music-loving girl in the charmingly illustrated picture book Sangeet and the Missing Beat for ages 4 to 10. Sangeet is determined to be a tabla master (tablay is the plural; tabla the singular) when she’s older because “anyone can do anything!” she says. Always composing tunes and rhythms inspired by her surroundings, one day Sangeet tries to create a song of the noises in her schoolyard at recess. She hears the beat in her head, but when Sangeet tries to play it on her tabla for her dad, something is not quite right. There’s a missing beat. Thus begins Sangeet’s journey to complete her new composition. She dreams about it, taps on her thighs and the breakfast table, and drums with her pencils in class trying to figure it out. A week later when her grandma—her dadiji—comes to visit, Sangeet gets fresh encouragement and finally finds the beat.

Kiranjot Kaur is a multi-disciplinary artist, author and engineer. She celebrates artistic influences from Panjabi, Sikh and other Canadian heritages. She aims to inspire kids to realize their potential.


Sangeet and the Missing Beat (Rebel Mountain Press, 2021) $13.95 9781989996058

[BCBW 2021]