Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Common Sense Media says

Colorfully illustrated alphabet rhymes.





What parents need to know

Educational value

The fun and lively rhymes paired with the creative personification of letters will provide a unique learning experience for readers. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom allows for an enjoyable and refreshing interaction with the alphabet as readers follow upper and lowercase letters in an unexpected journey to the top (and bottom) of a coconut tree.

Violence & scariness

The lowercase characters in this book venture to the top of a coconut tree and soon find out that it lacks the sturdiness to hold all 26 of them. Each individual letter experiences their own respective injuries as they fall off the tree and down to the ground -- "E" stubbed its toe, "P" has a black eye, "T" ends up with a loose tooth, etc. Luckily, the uppercase letters - "mamas and papas and uncles and aunts" - come to patch up and tend to the many injuries. As the sun sets on such an adventurous day, the daring "A" gets out of bed and encourages yet another race to the top of the coconut tree.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will be delighted by the characters' tree-climbing antics. Beginning readers and the read-to-me set will enjoy the vibrant art, the bouncy rhymes, the repetition, and the personification of letters.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

How many small letters can fit up the coconut tree? Too many! But the capital letters come to the rescue, and everyone is patched up before sundown. The familiar letters--and the pages of this story--come alive in this colorfully illustrated (but, perhaps too abstract) alphabet rhyme.

Is it any good?


Although the illustrations in this book are a bit abstract (some younger readers didn't recognize the coconut tree until it was pointed out), they are boldly painted. The dazzling rainbow parade of colorful letters make them memorable, adding to the educational value of this rhyming tale. "Chicka chicka boom boom!" becomes a fun mantra for children, who shout it out as an "Uh-oh!" to warn the adventurous alphabet characters. The illustrations of the patched-up letters are whimsical and endearing.

A great story for children learning (or needing reinforcement in) their letters, the alphabet is listed in order twice during the course of the story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the alphabet. Sing the familiar alphabet song, and seek out other presentations of the entire alphabet.

Book details

Author:Bill Martin Jr.
Illustrator:Lois Ehlert
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 1, 1989
Number of pages:31
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Parent of a 5 year old Written byKarlls January 20, 2011
my kid lover the book chicka chicka boom boom and chicka chicka 1,2,3
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 3, 3, and 6 year old Written bymagasalee June 16, 2009


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