Reviews of children's and young adult books old and new

Monday, April 12, 2010

Up the Coconut Tree

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

This is the anniversary edition of this much loved alphabet book. From Simon & Schuster's new children's imprint Beach Lane Books comes this story about our alphabet. Told in rhyme this book has all the letters of the alphabet trying to climb the coconut tree. When all the letters are finally in the tree the tree sags and everyone tumbles out in a big mess. The upper case letters come to untangle the little ones and we see all the letters go home, some with a few injuries from their adventure in the tree.

When I read this book the first thing I thought was this would be great for a classroom or in teaching 3-4 year olds their alphabet. In doing a very quick search for the cover image I found many resources for classrooms to use this book and create projects based on it. I did not come across this book when I was teaching but I was teaching fourth grade and by that point the students know their alphabet. This is a wonderful book that goes through all the letters twice (unlike most alphabet books where you read through the alphabet once). The letters are even given a little bit of personality which keeps the book interesting. The illustrations are very brightly colored but very simple cutouts. That style is great for this book so you can focus on the letters who are the stars of the book. There is a repetition to the poetry and that is excellent when teaching young children how to read. It helps them to anticipate what is coming next in the story and hopefully start to 'read' along with you. I highly recommend for children ages 2-5.


  1. There is also a Scholastic DVD that you can get too,I absolutely LOVE this book!!


  2. Thanks for letting me know about the DVD, I will have to check it out. I agree, this book is great.