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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Paperback – August 1, 2000
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The 26 characters in this rhythmic, rhyming baby book are a lowercase alphabet with attitude. "A told b, and b told c, 'I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree'"--which probably seemed like a good idea until the other 23 members of the gang decided to follow suit. Lois Ehlert's chunky block illustrations show the luxuriant green palm standing straight and tall on the first page, but it begins to groan and bend under its alphabetical burden. First the coconuts fall off, then ("Chicka chicka... BOOM! BOOM!") all the letters also end up in a big heap underneath. A very simple board-book version stops there, but this original text goes on to introduce the helping hands of the 26 uppercase "mamas and papas and uncles and aunts." (Baby to preschool) --Richard Farr --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
In this bright and lively rhyme, the letters of the alphabet race each other to the top of the coconut tree. When X, Y and Z finally scramble up the trunk, however, the weight is too much, and down they all tumble in a colorful chaotic heap: "Chicka Chicka . . . BOOM! BOOM!" All the family members race to help, as one by one the letters recover in amusingly battered fashion. Poor stubbed toe E has a swollen appendage, while F sports a jaunty Band-Aid and P is indeed black-eyed. As the tropic sun goes down and a radiant full moon appears, indomitable A leaps out of bed, double-daring his colleagues to another treetop race. This nonsense verse delights with its deceptively simple narrative and with the repetition of such catchy phrases as "skit skat skoodle doot." Ehlert's bold color scheme, complete with hot pink and orange borders, matches the crazy mood perfectly. Children will revel in seeing the familiar alphabet transported into this madcap adventure. Ages 2-6.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Enter baby and when we shopped for books this was a bestseller. We bought it and couldn't believe that was the story the mom recited! To my surprise, it was the only book that held my newborns attention. To this day -- now 6 months -- she is still captivated by the book images and rhythm. Favorite book for baby!
Very simple story in that all of the (lower case) letters are racing to the top of a coconut tree, once they're all up there the tree becomes top-heavy and - "Chicka chicka... BOOM! BOOM!" - bends from the load, they all come tumbling out, incurring normal childhood-type ailments (skinned-knee, stubbed-toe, loose tooth, out of breath, tangled and knotted up, looped, stooped and "twisted alley-oop", etc.) The parents, aunts and uncles (capital letters) come to their aid as the tree trunk straightens back up. BUT... when the full moon comes out that night, "A" sneaks out of bed and - as children will do - double dares them all back up to the top of the tree! The book ends with a 2-page spread of all of the letters, upper and lower case next to each other - a terrific tool to help youngsters recognize both forms, and part of the fun are the rhymes and fun tongue-twister expressions interspersed throughout (i.e. Skit skat skoodle doot/Flip flop flee.) Super cute little book!
You can probably imagine that - having babysat for three of my four grandchildren for 7 years prior to my daughter-in-law becoming a stay-at-home-mom - we have MANY board books included in the large children's library we've built for them over those years - typically, if they're board book versions of a previously released book, they're greatly ABRIDGED versions. I have to say that not only is this one of the highest quality-constructed board books we've purchased, but at 36 pages long (as compared to the hardcover's 40 pages), I think we've actually got most of the entire original book! (Obvious difference would be its size - this is @ 5-1/2" x 7" and a full 3/4" thick, while the hardcover's description lists it as 8.2 x .4 x 10.9.) And what a deal! We purchased this on Amazon for below its imprinted $7.99 US price, and are so pleased with what we received for our dollars - nice, thick pages, bright and eye-catching colors - even our 5-1/2 and 9-1/2 year old grandsons have gotten a kick out of reading this to the little ones!
I think I just don't get the appeal of this book, or maybe I'm not reading it with the right inflection. People love this book, including our baby sitter. I just don't.
It kinda outlines a disaster type scenario in a lighthearted way, that is really superficial (the coconut tree falls down with all the little children/alphabet letters in it and everyone is a little banged up). But it doesn't really present this in a way that's Mr. Roger's like ("look for the helpers"), it just focuses on how banged up all the kids are.
Also, I really hate the ending, where it basically starts all over again because the letter "a" is being "that kid" who dares the other kids to do stupid stuff. It's very reminiscent of the frustration I get when I read '5 little monkeys jumping on the bed'