Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

written by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault
illustrated by Lois Ehlert

John Archambault and Bill Martin Jr.'s
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 3-7

Another alphabet song!

Hard to believe this book has been around now since 1989. I think of it as the new alphabet song.

Preparing to write this review, I did something I almost never do (since I'm old) I went to YouTube.

I was wondering how other people hear Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I was wondering if there's an actual song with a melody. When I read it - and listen in my head - it's purely percussive: kind of a hip-hop alphabet song.

Apparently I got that wrong. In fact, the version I found is so delightful that I'm going to pop it in right here.

What I love about the book (and that video) is the depiction of the little lower-case letters doing something. They're climbing a coconut tree! And, together, they weigh a little too much for the coconut tree. So the tree bends too far and spills them all out...

...for their upper case parents to tend to their owies and ouchies! It's not just an alphabet song, it's an alphabet story.

I like that the letters get turned and tilted in every direction, that they end up sporting bandages and loose teeth. These little alterations challenge young minds to recognize the letters despite any inconsequential changes.

You don't want your kid only to recognize a in Times New Roman, do you?

Yes, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom remains a delight - an alphabet song, an alphabet story, an alphabet rap. (The version I link to should contain a CD as well as the book.)

More alphabet fun.

Read more of Steve's reviews.

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