BOOK REVIEWS

Tap Tap Boom Boom Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-03 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 14 user ratings
ISBN:0763693049
LANGUAGE:English

"Filled with words and images that evoke the distinct sounds of a thunderstorm, this picture book also reminds readers that circumstances can turn strangers into friends. City kids will certain relate to the need to get out of the rain into some shelter. It's one thing when it's just sprinkling, but a full-out storm means folks (and even some animal companions) are heading to the subway. The onomatopoeia in the book perfectly mimics the tapping of raindrops and the crash of thunder while the illustrations, fashioned into collages of photographs, are filled with interesting scenes of the city and its inhabitants. It might be fun to pair this one with Karen Hesse's Come On, Rain! in which the city dwellers long for the relief from heat that can come from rain. " said.

"Tap Tap Boom Boom was great to read to the kids because of the expressive storm sounds I could make; the kids could join in. The story follows a rainstorm from beginning to end in a bustling city. When the storm hits, people and dogs take refuge in a subway station for shelter and a positive community experience is created. Strangers are gathered together and become friends. At the end they return to the city streets when the storm clears up, a rainbow appears and kids resume playing. The text includes rhymes and word play such as onomatopoeia. Although this is an interesting idea, it was hard to read; the rhythm of the words was clunky and they caught in my mouth – it wasn’t smooth and flowing. The illustrations are soft with warm muted colours against the bleak concrete city backdrop and storm." said.

"It starts with a tap, tap, and then there are dark clouds, and suddenly rain is pouring. People reach for their umbrellas. Pedestrians scramble for the dry warmth of the subway. Strangers laugh and bond as the storm grows. And then, suddenly, the rain and thunder are gone, leaving behind a wonderful surprise -- and perhaps a few new friends, brought together by the weather.

From the first time I read this book, I loved it. The words simply sound like a building storm, quick and short at the beginning, then growing, becoming bold-faced and crackling and large as the storm itself grows. The rhythm and onomatopoeia add to the effect, and make it perfect for lessons on both, although it would work just as well as an introduction to units on weather or friendship, or for helping a small child overcome a fear of storms. Both the illustrations and the design of the text (line breaks, font choices, etc.), are superb complements to the story. While the illustrations are based on a large city, the feeling of escaping a storm is universal, as is the way something as simple as inclement weather can bring people together and just as easily release them again.
" said.

"Join a group of city kids as a thunderstorm bursts overhead. It starts with just a “tap tap” of rain and the umbrellas come out. Then a “boom boom” enters and a “crackle” of lightning too. Puddles form and the wind swells. So the children head down into the subway to get underground. Lots of people gather and shelter in the subway, including some very wet dogs that shake themselves dry on everyone. People stop, talk with one another, share umbrellas. Then the storm ends and there is a gorgeous surprise in the sky.

Bluemle offers a jaunty rhythm in her poem that also has rhymes that work well. She captures the unexpected nature of a summer storm and combines it with the camaraderie that forms when people shelter together. This is a very positive book, one that has all different sorts of people put together in one large urban community.

Karas’ illustrations are done in his signature style. His pictures are a mix of drawings, paintings and photographs. The combination creates a slick urban feel with added warmth from his very personable characters who fill up the space.

A great choice for thundery spring weather, this picture book celebrates storms. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
" said.

"Tap Tap Boom Boom
Elizabeth Bluemle

First Review
According to Publishers Weekly, this story is about a sudden thunderstorm approaching a city and everyone must find shelter. They find shelter in a subway and it is very crowded, but they get to know new people. Once they stop hearing the tap and boom of the storm, they find a surprise outside up in the sky! Sometimes bad luck or misfortune can lead to something amazing!

APA Citation:
Murphy, E. (2013, December 9). [Review of the book Tap Tap Boom Boom by E. Bluemle]. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from the NoveList Plus database.

Second Review
According to School Library Journal, children will love the upbeat words and phrases describing a thunderstorm. This is an excellent book that can include audience participation as the story goes on. As people in the city take shelter underground, they enjoy each others company. Once the storm has stopped a beautiful surprise awaits them.

APA Citation:
Lukehart, W. (2014, April 1). [Review of the book Tap Tap Boom Boom by E. Bluemle]. School Library Journal. Retrieved from the NoveList Plus Database.

My Review
The title of this book got my attention at first and I thought it was clever. The illustrations showed a lot of detail and I thought they made you feel like the characters were actually getting wet from the storm. I believe children would enjoy this book especially kindergarten to first grade. A thunderstorm can be a scary experience, but something great can come from it!
" said.

"SUMMARY: "Tap tap/ Boom Boom/ Crackle-boom/ Got a storm, big storm in bloom, here soon." A big storm is coming in New York City and people are scrambling for shelter. Many congregate in the subway station. They make friends, share pizza and stay warm and cozy. After the storm, everyone says their goodbyes and goes back outside to a big surprise.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created in mixed media of photographs,gouache and pencil. They are quite unique, very colorful, and highly detailed. The pictures give a sense of enjoyment even in the midst of a big storm.

THE GOOD: My first thought when reading this story is that I felt I had been transported to a Beatnik club, listening to a poetry reading while bongos played in the background. The poetry of this book lends itself very well to being played alongside drums or other classroom instruments. I felt the progression of the storm from the first raindrops, to the crashing outside while everyone was cozy inside, and finally to the end of the storm. I loved how the people stood together, and in a friendly manner, waited out the storm together. The characters were all extremely likeable and caring. This would be a lovely rainy day book to read.
THE NOT AS GOOD: I don't believe this abstract kind of poetry would lend itself well to the preschool and under crowd nor keep their interest.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: Grades k-2. It would especially be a great book to be used in an elementary music classroom while children played different instruments to the words such as drums, maracas, and tambourines.
" said.

"As the rain begins to fall and a storm moves in on a city, people begin moving underground to get out of the wet.

This was a really unique picture book and I must admit that it took me a couple of reads to ‘get’ it. The words don’t immediately flow across the page – instead they are arranged (and best read) as a poem.

That’s right –
slam bang!
Hold tight
to umbrella.
Wind whirls
helter-skelter
BOOM
BOOM

The story is a pretty simple one, looking at our main characters and the diverse people who live in a city environment. They all find themselves in the same situation when the rain falls, dashing to a subway where they can shelter. While they’re there, they strike up conversation and share friendly behaviour until the storm ends and they can move out into the bright afternoon. The storm is mostly depicted through the tap of the rain and the repeated use of BOOM, though there’s very little said about actual thunder or lightning.

At first look, the illustrations seem quite simple, with a relatively limited colour palette. However, as you look closer, you see traces of a photographic style in the illustrations, sometimes in an almost Knuffle Bunny kind of way. The text works extremely well in the illustrations – both in the fonts used and when they’ve over particular illustrations.

Although this book works best as a read-aloud, it’s not the easiest book to read aloud. It definitely needs repeat reading or a practice run. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the rhythm – I found I did best when I resisted the urge to rush through it and instead slowed down. My toddler adored it though, especially the repeated use of tap and boom.

It did make me wonder what other picture books had a similar poetical (but without a strict rhyming pattern) approach? It’s a very interesting style to read with children and not one which I can immediately remember in other books. Something to look out for next time I’m at the library.

Originally reviewed at Subversive Reader
" said.

"As a storm descends upon the city, people seek shelter in the subway, making friends with strangers while they wait out the rain.

From the opening page of the story, well-known illustrator G. Brian Karas sets the scene for a rainstorm. The gathering clouds and thick raindrops on the first spread of the book warn of the heavier rain and thunder to follow. The people in the pictures are young and old, and from various backgrounds, which is just right for the urban setting. Though the text sometimes suggests who should appear in the illustrations, there are many more characters who are completely Karas's creation and whose actions silently contribute to the urgency and coziness people feel when they are caught in a storm. I also really like the way Karas places his cartoonish figures against realistic-looking backgrounds of subway staircases and skyscrapers. It is reminiscent of the style used by Mo Willems in the Knuffle Bunny books, which might increase the book's overall child appeal.

I had a hard time getting the rhythm right the first time I read this book. I had to read it aloud a few times before I started to understand which words to emphasize to make the rhymes match up in the right way. This problem is partly a result of the short sentences author Elizabeth Bluemle uses in some places. Some of these fragments do not have any articles (a, the, etc.) in them, which makes them sound stilted and strange. I think the text is meant to be poetry, so it's fine that she chose to exclude these words. It just might take some practice before a presenter is ready to share this with a group. Need for preparation aside, however, this would be a good choice for an elementary school read-aloud, or for a small group of attentive preschoolers. It suits a rain theme (one of my favorites), as well as a sound theme, or a water theme. The repeated "Tap TAP BOOM BOOM" refrain also lends itself well to audience participation. The kids can say the refrain when prompted, and/or do simple hand gestures along with it. The ending - where a rainbow appears - is a predictable cliche, but it will only annoy adults, not kids.

Tap Tap Boom Boom will certainly appeal to teachers who do a weather unit, but they might need a little guidance in order to find it, since the title sounds like it could be a construction book. It's also a good opportunity for learning about onomatopoeia and for learning how to interpret simple poetry. Read-alikes include BOOM!: Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog by Mary Lyn Ray, Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey, and The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow.
" said.

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