Saturday, July 23, 2022

Today's read... Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Armchambault

 Today's read has been a favorite in the picture book world for over 30 years and is, now, being released in a group-friendly format. I was more than a little curious to see how this works, so, of course, I wanted to take a look.

Teachers, group leaders, or those who just like to read for kids, ready to take a peek?

Storytime Together
by Bill Martin and John Armchambault
Little Simon
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

AUGUST 2nd!!!

The award-winning, perennial classic featuring cheerful art by Caldecott Honor illustrator Lois Ehlert is now available in a brand-new format with spiral binding and cardstock pages for an engaging read-aloud experience.

A told B,
and B told C,
“I’ll meet you at the
top of the coconut tree.”

In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no—Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom!

This beloved alphabet chant is now available in a Storytime Together edition, which is designed so the book can be folded in half and easily read aloud to an audience. The text will face the reader and the illustrations will face the audience. The spiral-bound book also comes with a cardstock jacket for convenient shelving and storage. This innovative format is sure to bring a rollickingly fun storytime experience to classrooms, libraries, living rooms, and video calls with family and friends!



Simple but clever, this easy to flip-back format makes reading in front of groups a treat.

Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! has been republished over and over again since 1989, and rightly so. The story of the alphabet's letters climbing up a coconut tree isn't only original but very entertaining. Plus, there's the added benefit of reinforcing letter recognition. It's fun to get into the rhythm of the words, and I still, as an adult, can't help but smile as the tree bends under the weight. Add that the repeated phrase is addictive and invites kids to join in...and it's no wonder that this one has held on for several decades.

Since this tale makes a great read-a-loud, especially for groups learning their alphabet, this format attempts to make things even easier for the group leader. The book is spiral bound, allowing for the pages to be flipped all the way back, leaving only the main one for listeners to view. While the text is printed on the illustration (as is in the original form), the text is also printed on the other page, so when flipped, the group leader can easily see and read the words, while keeping the illustrated page in full display for the listeners. The listeners can, then, enjoy the illustrations and even read along, at the same time. I enjoyed it, since I no longer had to read upside-down or from the side, while sharing the book.

Because this isn't hardback bound, the book is pretty flexible. The pages are made from a light poster board type of paper, ensuring that they will handle some wear and tear. They are also lightly coated for easier clean-up of slight smudges. 

This is a clever way to make read-a-loud sessions with groups easier for both the reader and listeners. For young hands, the traditional format is more robust and ideal, but this format is a must-have for group settings.

And here they are...

Bill Martin, Jr. (1916–2004) has been called “America’s favorite children’s author.” He wrote more than 300 books for children, including the classic texts Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, illustrated by Eric Carle; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

John Archambault is a poet, journalist, and storyteller who worked with Bill Martin, Jr. on several projects. He lives in Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California.

Lois Ehlert (1934–2021) created numerous inventive, celebrated, and bestselling picture books, including Chicka Chicka Boom BoomHoley Moley, The Scraps BookMiceTen Little CaterpillarsRRRalphLots of SpotsBoo to You!Leaf ManWaiting for WingsPlanting a RainbowGrowing Vegetable Soup, and Color Zoo, which received a Caldecott Honor. 

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