Crash! Boom!: A Math Tale (Robie H. Harris)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Crash! Boom!: A Math Tale, written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Chris Chatterton, a sweet story of a young elephant learning to build a block tower.

A little elephant plays with a set of blocks, stacking them to form a tower. He hopes to make the tower as tall as he is, and after some careful balancing of four blocks on their ends, he does – until the unstable tower collapses with a “Crash! Boom!”. The little elephant cries a few tears, but then starts again, finding that the blocks are more stable on their wider side, but it will take twice as many to achieve the same height. Once again, the elephant builds the tower to his liking, this time enjoying an intentional “crash! boom!” when he’s done. But what other combinations of blocks can make the same height? Time to experiment and see!

Adorable. Even without the math elements, the precious elephant and his exuberant block-building are a charming story about trying again when your initial attempt fails. The elephant’s expressive face and body, interacting with real-life photos of wooden blocks and containers, was absolutely darling and won JJ over from the first page. The added bonus is the subtle inclusion of basic math principles like counting and geometry, kept simple enough that beginners can follow along and build a foundation for future math concepts. The length was great, and JJ loved it. A delightful little story that encourages experimentation, perseverance, and play, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

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