Sunday, March 14, 2010

Boom Boom Go Away!

Boom Boom Go Away!
By Laura Geringer
Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Atheneum, 40 pages
$15.99, ages 3 to 6

Packed with bouncy rhythms and fun sound effects, Laura Geringer's Boom Boom Go Away! begs to be read aloud.

The cover pictures a toy gnome inside a storybook house that carries the book's subtitle: "A Most Unusual Bedtime Story."

He starts off the tale – "There was a little gnome, who lived in his little home, playing on his big brass drum. boom boom." But when his mama tells him to go to bed, he tells her she can't spoil his music. "Go away. boom boom. Go away!"

More toys join the song: a little prince on a big bassoon; little knight playing battle bells; mermaid girls playing seashell harps and more.

Mamas and papas tell them they'd better go to bed. As they refuse, an infectious cumulative rhythmic song grows.

"Go away. plong plong clink clink bong bong neeeeeee neeeeeee ding ding boom boom. Go away!"

In the end, we discover who was really making all the music – a little boy. The last picture shows him sprawled out asleep with the toys around him.

It's not the sleepiest of bedtime tales, but it's great fun. It's reminiscent of that manic, wound-tight state that kids get into when they're too tired to stop moving. Then suddenly they crash.

Bagram Ibatoulline's marvelous colorful illustrations are made from the perspective of the toys. He's created a fantastic bedroom world.

- Rebecca Young

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