Tap Tap Boom Boom
by Elizabeth Bluemle; illus. by G. Brian Karas
Preschool, Primary Candlewick 32 pp.
3/14 978-0-7636-5696-6 $16.99
Many picture books about storms are set in the country (e.g., Shetta Crum’s Thunder-Boomer!, rev. 7/09), but this one takes place in the big city. Bluemle uses rhymes and rhythms to convey the sudden changes in the weather: “Sky grumbles. / Rain tumbles. / Big weather — / you’d better… / get under / umbrella! / ’Cause thunder / is coming: / BOOM BOOM.” Collage illustrations catch the city people from a variety of perspectives, looking up at the sky, clinging to umbrellas, and then hustling down to the subway for shelter, pummeled by fat raindrops. People of all ethnicities, ages, and sizes (along with their dogs) wait out the storm, while musicians play and pizza and umbrellas are shared. The emphasis here is not on a child’s fear of storms but on the excitement of the experience, all finished with “a surprise in the sky” of a rainbow. Karas’s pictures combine painting, drawing, and photographs to show the grit, energy, and beauty of the urban scene and its amusingly quirky people. This would make a great pair with John Rocco’s Blackout, with both books celebrating the urban experience of community.
From the March/April 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.