It’s my turn to ride the Character Assassination Carousel hosted by Nicole Leigh Shaw!
I’m so excited, I had to do the Batusi!
Wait, you may say. What is the Character Assassination Carousel? This series of blog posts was created by Nicole Leigh Shaw and is an opportunity for the Character Assassination Carousel is an opportunity for parents to bitch, er discuss, favorite picture books.
Ready? Let’s do it!
I am a bit torn about the book I choose. I love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom so much but felt that there were some glaring oversights that begged for my attention. Take a ride with me as we discuss whether Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a delightful romp showcasing the letters of the alphabet or a sad tale of neglected children bowing to peer pressure.
Again, I have to say that I absolutely love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr and John Archambault. I do. I have it memorized, sing two versions of it and possess a tree with Velcro letters but once I took a closer look at this book I came to realize that Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a not just a raucous romp of the alphabet. No! Chicka Chicka Boom Boom shows neglected letter children bowing to peer pressure.
First we are introduced to “a” who is an agitator and an instigator. A cajoles “b” and “c” to follow him up into a coconut tree. Harmless fun but *why* must they meet at the top of a coconut tree? Wouldn’t the tree’s base be good enough? I totally cop to not having upper body strength and am a little envious of those who can climb a tree but I digress.
Then “d” challenges “e”, “f” and “g” to race to the top of the tree! I’m all for children getting exercise but really! Why are they climbing a tree? Why can’t the tree’s base, much safer and ON THE GROUND be where t hey meet. And where are the adults to spot them as try romp up a coconut tree. And dude, the coconuts could fall out of the tree and hit someone.
Other letters follow…”h”, “i” and “j” influence tag along “k”, who clearly cannot think for itself and is such a follower. Seriously, what is the deal with “k”? K is clearly a follower and wasn’t even invited on this trip!
The letters keep a coming…even as the tree starts to bend from the weight. Total insight: This could just be the YOLO way of children. Kids are often carefree and seemingly indifferent to danger, nary a thought is given to their own safety or the grey hairs that they are giving to their parents. I know their caretakers were off and doing something so these kids are left to fend for themselves Lord of the Fly style.
The WHOLE dang alphabet falls out of the tree and only now comes the adults. Mamas and papas and uncles and aunts come running from God knows where finally remembering that they have children in their care. Who is in charge here? Clearly this tree, not inspected by the L&I of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom land, was a source of amusement and therefore should have been made more secure.
And really? Really? REALLY it is only now that the parents notice they are supposed to be taking care of their kids? I was that parent, you know hovering and being a general nuisance I guess I was a helicopter parent and I may or may not be paying the price with a kid who can be hesitant to explore but shh. This is not about me. There is NO way I would have left my kid unattended and alone long enough to climb a damn tree and fall out of it. But this is a no parent shaming area so let me move on.
Fianlly these letter children get attention but look at the injuries
- Whining (a,b,c) (j &k – who WAS NOT even supposed to be there!)
- skinned knees, stubbed toes (d, e,)
- asthma attack (g)
- broken limbs (l, m,n, o — respectively knotted, looped, stooped and twisted alley-oop)
- Collisions (h and i tangled up)
- bruises (patched up f, black eyes p)
- missing teeth (t. You know that loose tooth was actually a permanent tooth)
Not injured but victims of collateral damage just the same, probably suffering from some type of PTSD:
- u, v, w they are dancing (they wiggle jiggle free)!
- x,y,z they fell on top of everyone else and caused damage.
This should be where the story ends but nope, a, not being watched once more, manages to leave bed unnoticed and try to rile up the other letters and not just dares, DOUBLE dares the letters to run up a tree that we all know is to not be structurally sound.
To get back to my original statement….Chcicka Chicka Boom Boom is NOT the delightful alphabet romp but instead it is a cautionary tale of peer pressure, neglected children and shoddy bureaucrats.
Tell me, what do YOU think?
If you enjoyed this, check out the other entries on the Character Assassination Carousel!
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r’s note: I really do love this book; just having some fun!
r’s note 2: Enjoy!
Did you enjoy your ride on the Character Assassination Carousel? Check out previous assassin Tracy at Crazy as Normal. Next up is Meredith at Pile of Babies.