Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 138: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This rollicking alphabet chant has to be one of the popular ABC books out there for young children.  We were given a copy of one of the abridged versions, Chicka Chicka ABC, by one of my former students as a baby gift when my son was first born.  I'll admit that the first few times I read it, I thought it was a little annoying.  I wasn't always sure I had the tempo of the rhythm just right, and often found myself adding in a few words here and there to make it flow better as I was reading and singing it.  My son, on the other hand, LOVED it.  He was completely obsessed by Lois Ehlert's illustrations -- the simplicity of the design and the bright bold colors make it incredibly appealing to infants -- and wanted to read it over and over and over (which we did.... many times.)  Eventually, this book really grew on me, I think because my son loved it so much and I could see how educational it could be to a baby or young child.  To this day, I'm convinced it's part of the reason he learned his alphabet at such a young age (I was always sure to point out each letter on the page as we read), especially his lowercase letters. The lyrical rhythmic quality of the book is fabulous for kids, too.  It's the kind of book that you can't help but read with a little bounce.  I honesty can't imagine someone picking it up and just reading the words in prose.  In fact, our original ABC board book version came in a set with a little plastic maraca.  So fun!  My daughter (now 18 months) loves this book just as much as her brother did, and has for some time.  After many readings of Chicka Chicka ABC, we finally got the parent version, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, out of the library.  Naturally, it shares all of the fabulous qualities of our shorter ABC version ("A told B and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree") and goes on to make the story even more lively and fun ("Skit skat skoodle doot. Flip flop flee.  Everybody running to the coconut tree.")  Uppercase letters are introduced here, as well, and I love the way the "younger" lower case letters get into trouble along the way.  "Next from the pileup skinned-knee D, and stubbed-toe E, and patched up F.  Then comes G all out of breath."  With children who are two and a half years apart, it can be hard to find stories that they both love to read equally, but Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is one such book.  It's engaging, fun, and well worth a read whether you have a newborn or preschooler. And if, like me, you don't love it at first, give it another chance or two. Seeing your child light up when you read it is bound to change your mind.

Looking for some great activities to accompany reading this book?  Check out these fabulous ideas over at Mommy and Me Book Club!  I can't wait to crack open a real coconut with my little guy!


Sarah @ Baby Bilingual said...

The Scholastic animated version of this (you can probably borrow it from your library) is wonderful! The tune is catchy, the images colorful and faithful to the book. My four-year-old loves it and sings along now!

There's also the companion book, Chicka Chicka 123, which doesn't impress me as much.

Lauren said...

I'll have to look for it -- thanks!

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