Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault is an alphabet book made fun for all ages. The entire alphabet pledges to meet at the top of the coconut tree until Chicka chicka BOOM! BOOM! All 26 letters fall out of the tree. Despite bumps and bruises, the letters don’t lose their adventurous spirit. The story ends with the sun setting on the coconut tree and “a” challenging the letters to a race up the coconut tree.
Beginning with the end pages, illustrator Lois Ehlert does an excellent job capturing the child’s attention. Each page is filled with bright, playful illustrations seeming to be made by shapes cut from colorful paper. The coconut tree often spans two pages (and even sometimes extends beyond the pages of the book) and a polka-dot border can be found on every page. At the same time, the pictures do not distract from the purpose of the story—to teach the alphabet. The easy-to-read text similarly lends itself to the teaching of the alphabet with each mentioned letter in bold.
A key component of this text is the jovial spirit created by the authors’ use of rhyme. Rhyme is a critical component in the child’s development of phonological awareness, an understanding of language sounds and patterns. Use of rhyme within this story supports the child’s beginning understanding of letter-sound correspondence and also helps children feel connected to the text. Rhyming patterns are often easier for children to recognize and remember so that they may provide the next word in the story.
To watch a video of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with lyrics and music, click here.
I hope that you enjoy reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with your loved ones as much as I enjoyed it as a young child. Happy reading!