Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Here's how Chicka Chicka Boom Boom sent me to Jupiter. If you don't know, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was probably the first book most 90s kids learned to read. The whole thing was one big song about the alphabet letters climbing a coconut tree, falling down, and then climbing it again. What made it even more fun was that it often came with a cassette with narrations of the book by Ray Charles and the author on one side, and then a second side of all songs by the author. As much as I liked to read (I know, odd), I enjoyed reading more when it was read for me on tape in cutesy song form, complete with steel drums and goofy flutes.

"But chicka chicka boom boom, look there's a full moon..." is probably the funniest line in any book ever. Funnier was side two of the tape, where the author says that he came up with the idea based on the following children's chant, which I have memorized to this day: "Chigga chigga whole potatah, half-passed alligator, bim bam boligator, give three cheers for the dippy dappy happy sappy readers!" Chanting nonsense has got to be the best way to get kids to read. It taught us how rhythm can change what the story sounds like in our heads, whether we slow it down or speed it up, make it happy or sad, even if the words all stay the same. That's what makes it a great book.

Also on side two of the tape came this chant:
"My mother, your mother, live across the street,
18, 19 Mulberry Street.
When they get to talking, this is what they say:
Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider!
Girls go to college to get more knowledge!"
Well, I thought. At least I get to go to Jupiter.

2 comments:

  1. Yes a great book. and boys are stupider! some thing never change!

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  2. I saw this in my doctor's office before I went to get a nerve conduction done- which hurt like hell! >.<

    I read it and the doctor walked in, looked at me and I went "I LOVED THIS BOOK AS A KID!" =P

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