TAP TAP BOOM BOOM written by Elizabeth Bluemle and illustrated by G. Brian Karas is reviewed by MaryAnne Locher.
– ✩ Starred review from Publishers Weekly
As a child growing up in a New Jersey suburb, I relished the opportunity to go into New York City any chance I was given. My first trip was on a field trip to see the Harlem Globe Trotters when I was in third grade, then again for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. My first baseball game was in fifth grade at Yankee Stadium, and later that year we visited Shea Stadium. As teens, my classmates and I were given more freedom when field trips took us to the symphony, a museum, or to see The Wiz on Broadway. We’d arrive by bus, then, if our destination was too far to walk, we’d hop on the subway. More than once we went underground to listen to the musicians, or get a “slice” (of pizza, that is). One of my favorite times was when I got stuck in a sun shower at Strawberry Fields in Central Park without an umbrella. People scurried like ants, sharing umbrellas, across the street and down the steps into the subway to get out of the rain.
Just in time for April showers, Tap Tap Boom Boom (Candlewick Press, $16.99, Ages 3-7) written by Elizabeth Bluemle and illustrated by G. Brian Karas, brought back all of my precious childhood memories of visits to the city, and the friendly people I’d met while there. All differences disappear when a common denominator is introduced. In Tap Tap Boom Boom, it’s a thunderstorm.
This book wouldn’t have had as much impact if it hadn’t been written in verse. I could almost feel the raindrops, the gusts of wind, and damp clothes clinging to my body as the words intensified and tempo changed and grew in urgency. Karas told the story by himself through illustrations that captured the emotions from the first raindrop to the final rainbow, but author and illustrator together created a symphony, quiet at first, then building to a crescendo before returning to calm again.
This is the perfect foot-tapping, hand-clapping book to read to your child on a rainy day, or any time you want to have fun with words and look at pictures that leave room for discussion.