Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Alphabet and Rhyming Fun

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - alphabet book cover
Simon and Schuster

The story in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, an entertaining alphabet picture book, is a simple one. The book begins with the letter A telling the letter B and B telling the letter C to meet "at the top of the coconut tree." The letters, in alphabetical order, begin to climb the tree.

The letters are having a wonderful time, but as more and more letters climb up the coconut tree, the tree begins to bend over more and more until "Chicka chicka. . . BOOM! BOOM!," the letters all fall off. Comforted by their parents and other adults, the letters get untangled, again in alphabetical order. The story ends with A daring the others to climb the tree again, a subtle invitation to read the story again and again.

The infectious rhyming text and the exuberant illustrations of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom have made this children's alphabet picture book a favorite read aloud and concept book for preschoolers. This amusing alphabet book was written by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: The Book's Appeal

What makes such a simple story so entertaining? The text by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault is lively and rhythmic. The repetition of the words "Chicka chicka boom boom!" positively invite children to chant them along with the person reading the book. Lois Ehlert's collages are full of strong colors and movement that complement and extend the story. Ehlert uses lowercase letters to illustrate the excited young letters and uppercase letters to illustrate their parents and other adults, which adds to the fun.

Awards and Recognition

Among the awards and recognition Chicka Chicka Boom Boom has received are the following:

  • ALA Notable Children's Books
  • Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Honor Book
  • IRA/CBC Children's Choices
  • Kentucky Bluegrass Award
  • Parents' Choice Award

Authors Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

During his career, Bill Martin Jr wrote more than 200 children's books. Both my children and grandchildren particularly loved his "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" This book was illustrated by Eric Carle. In fact, I have read so many times, I know it by heart. Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault collaborated on a number of children's books, including Here Are My Hands and Listen to the Rain.

Illustrator Lois Ehlert

Lois Ehlert is an award-winning illustrator, who has also both written and illustrated a number of books, including Color Zoo, a 1990 Caldecott Honor Book. She specializes in collage. Some of my other favorite Ehlert books are Growing Vegetable Soup and Planting a Rainbow, which are both on my tops picks list of the 11 Best Children's Books About Gardens and Gardening

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: My Recommendation

I would recommend this book for babies to six-year-olds. Young children enjoy the strong rhythm, the story and the delightful illustrations. The older the children, the more they will want to chant along. They will also enjoy identifying the letters of the alphabet for you.

In fact, if your child is an especially big fan of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, be sure and take a look at the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom costume featured on About: Family Crafts. It's spectacular!

(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1989. Hardcover ISBN: 9780671679491; 2000. Paperback ISBN: 978-068983568; 2012. Board book ISBN: 9781442450707)

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Your Citation
Kennedy, Elizabeth. "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, Kennedy, Elizabeth. (2021, February 16). Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Retrieved from Kennedy, Elizabeth. "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 30, 2023).