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About the Author

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, California. Lois Ehlert has created numerous inventive, celebrated, and bestselling picture books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Holey Moley, The Scraps Book, Mice, Ten Little Caterpillars, RRRalph, Lots of Spots, Boo to You!, Leaf Man, Waiting for Wings, Planting a Rainbow, Growing Vegetable Soup, and Color Zoo, which received a Caldecott Honor. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


In this bright and lively rhyme, the letters of the alphabet race each other to the top of the coconut tree. When X, Y and Z finally scramble up the trunk, however, the weight is too much, and down they all tumble in a colorful chaotic heap: ``Chicka Chicka . . . BOOM! BOOM!'' All the family members race to help, as one by one the letters recover in amusingly battered fashion. Poor stubbed toe E has a swollen appendage, while F sports a jaunty Band-Aid and P is indeed black-eyed. As the tropic sun goes down and a radiant full moon appears, indomitable A leaps out of bed, double-daring his colleagues to another treetop race. This nonsense verse delights with its deceptively simple narrative and with the repetition of such catchy phrases as ``skit skat skoodle doot.'' Ehlert's bold color scheme, complete with hot pink and orange borders, matches the crazy mood perfectly. Children will revel in seeing the familiar alphabet transported into this madcap adventure. Ages 2-6. (Oct.)

PreS-Gr 2-In this lively alphabet rhyme by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault (S&S, 1989), all the letters of the alphabet race each other up a coconut tree. Will there be enough room? Lois Ehlert's bold artwork has been animated, while keeping her distinctive style. The simple poetry reinforces familiarity with the alphabet and letter order. What makes this already educational and beloved children's book such a delightful video is the music. The entire book, verbatim, has been turned into a song, with a toe-tapping, finger-snapping, danceable melody. The video joyously positions children for alphabet-centered activities before and after viewing. The video format and the large, simple animations are a perfect venue for kids to identify "black-eyed P" and "loose-tooth T" and all the other letters as they tumble out of the tree. Youngsters will beg to see this video again and againÄand adults will be happy to oblige!-Marilyn Hersh, Hillside Elementary School, Farmington Hills, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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