Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

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This Month’s Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This month’s book selection, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, is written by two authors, Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault; and illustrated by another brilliant author/illustrator, Lois Ehlert. This action packed book provides a great introduction to lowercase and uppercase letters of the alphabet in a fun rhythmic story. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom features lowercase alphabet characters who climb up a coconut tree, but then there is a catastrophe! “Skit, scat, scoodle-doot. Flip, flop, flee!” Won’t you read this book with me?


The letter “b” looks like an upside down “p” which looks like “q” turned around. How confusing! Learning the letters of the alphabet is quite a challenge. The more we have fun with our children looking at, playing with, and talking about letters, the easier it will be for them to develop an important early literacy skill called Alphabet Knowledge. Before learning to read, children must develop an awareness  that each letter has its own unique name, sound and shape and that the same letter can look different.

Activity 1:  Before reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, open the book to the inside cover page showing the uppercase and lowercase alphabet. Explain to your child that the big letter “A” is the same as little “a.” In the story, the Mommy and Daddy letters are the bigger uppercase letters while the babies are the little, lower case letters.

Activity 2: Children are usually interested in learning the letters in their name first, since they can connect with those letters in a meaningful way. Using the alphabet letters in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, point out the letters in your child’s name with a lot of enthusiasm.


Activity 1: Now I know my ABC’s! Reciting letters in a song does not necessarily mean that your child understands the alphabetic principle. Even so, the traditional alphabet song is fun to sing!  To make a more meaningful connection, point to each letter in the front cover of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom as you sing the alphabet song with your child. This will help match the name of the letter to its written shape.

Activity 2: Cheer for your child! Introduce the letters in your child’s name by singing a name cheer. Write the letters of your child’s name on separate pieces of paper. Hold up each letter as you cheer about it.

Give me an L!
Give me a U!
Give me an N!
Give me an A!
What’s that spell?

(Lay the letters out on the floor to spell the name.)



Activity 1: As you read the story, invite your child to say the repeated phrase, “Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom!” Clap your hands twice as you say “Chicka Chicka,” and stomp your feet twice as you say “Boom Boom!”

Activity 2: Engage your child by asking questions throughout the story: “What do you see on the cover?”  “What do you think will happen next?” “Why is the tree leaning over?” Be sure to look for the cute little details in the illustrations. Can you find the Band-Aid on patched up “F”, or the loose tooth on letter “T”?

Activity 3: Add movement and dramatic flair as you retell the story! After sharing the book, invite your child to act out the story: pretend to climb the tree; lean way over to the side, like the letter laden tree; and fall to the ground along with the letters. Ask your child, “Then, what happened?”  

Activity 4: Discover more alphabet books at your local Pima County Public Library!

  • B is for Box: The Happy Little Yellow Box, a pop-up book by David Carter
  • Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
  • Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman
  • Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert





Play with shapes! Researchers have found that children identify letters by their shapes. Wow, the letter “O” looks like a circle! Is there a triangle hidden in letter “V”? Support your child’s Alphabet Knowledge by providing tactile experiences with shapes:

  • Play ball with your baby! Using a soft ball, gently roll the ball to your baby. Talk as you play, “This ball is round, now it is rolling on the ground.”
  • Toddlers love to play with shape puzzles! Describe the shapes as your toddler picks them up. “That rectangle has four, long straight sides! This square has four sides too, but they are shorter than the rectangle.”
  • Preschoolers enjoy building projects with shapes cut out of paper. Let your preschooler tell you about their creations.

Play with letters!

  • What is a pirate’s favorite letter? The letter “R”! Can you make a letter “R” with your body? What other letters can you make with your body? Try using your index finger to create invisible letters and shapes in the sky.
  • Make letters inside on the floor with pieces of yarn, or long pieces of fabric. Make letters outside on the ground using rocks, or sticks.
  • Play a letter sorting game: Using magnetic letters and a cookie sheet, ask your child to look for letters that look like they have holes, and put them on one side of the cookie sheet. Then, ask your child to look for letters with straight lines and put them on the other side of the cookie sheet.
  • Create letter art with your child’s special letter! Write the first letter of your child’s name on a piece of paper and invite your child to decorate their letter with stickers, yarn, sequins, scraps of paper, feathers, tape, etc.


Join the Conversation!

Share your experience with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and be entered into a raffle to win next month’s C2C Book Club title! For example, you could:

  • Tell us about your child’s favorite part of the story.
  • Send a video of you sharing the book together, or playing with shapes.
  • Send a picture of your decorated letters, or a picture of you and your child making letter shapes with your bodies.

Share your photos and videos with us on Twitter and Instagram and be sure to tag Make Way for Books. For example:

@mwfbaz My son and I sang the name cheer for everyone in our family, and we even cheered the name of our dog! #storytime

Or email us your photo or video at

Be creative! We can’t wait to see what you loved about Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!