cover image Boom Boom Go Away!

Boom Boom Go Away!

Laura Geringer, , illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. . S&S/Atheneum, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-689-85093-6

Geringer's (A Three Hat Day ) bouncy beats and sound effects will have musical readers all a-clamor. The cover pictures a toy gnome and his drum under a tent of a storybook that reads, “A Most Unusual Bedtime Story,” and the story's energetic action exploits readers' after-dinner punchiness. It all starts with the gnome pounding away at his drum: “And when his mama said,/ 'You had better go to bed,'/ He said, 'Hush!/ Don't spoil the rhythm/ Of my drum.” A repeating “boom boom” in bold display type alternates with the gnome's spoken “Go away!” One by one, restless toys join in—tapping a gong (“ding ding”), shaking bells (“bong bong”), blasting a horn, and tooting a bassoon. The chorus grows (“Go away. plong plong clink clink bong bong... Go away!”) as their mingled music and voices spill across the spreads. Ibatoulline (Great Joy ) pictures the dolls in closeup in a playroom, gathering blocks and sitting down to form an onomatopoeic orchestra. Geringer's foreword credits the Dalcroze method of musical improvisation for inspiring this physical sequence, and single or multiple performers can generate satisfying harmony or noisy discord. Ages 3–6. (Feb.)