Cover image for Crash! boom! : a math tale
Crash! boom! : a math tale
1st ed.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm.
Added Author:
Build, balance, count - question, estimate, measure - predict, crash, and build again with Elephant and a bucket full of blocks. Follow along as Elephant goes through the ups and downs of creating something new and finally celebrates the job of pride and success. --


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Stillwater Public Library1On Order



How do these blocks stack up? Gentle math concepts go down easy in this fun and accessible story for very young children by the esteemed Robie H. Harris.

Elephant has a bucket of blocks and wants to build something tall. Something as tall as Elephant. But will it stay up? CRASH! BOOM! Not this time. Build it again? One block. Two blocks? Four blocks? It's still not as tall as Elephant. More blocks! Now will it stay up? Now will it be as tall as Elephant? Build, balance, count -- question, estimate, measure -- predict, crash, and build again! Young children will happily follow along as Elephant goes through the ups and downs of creating something new and finally celebrates the joy and pride of success.

Author Notes

Robie H. Harris is the New York Times best-selling author of It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health; It's So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families; and It's NOT the Stork! A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends. She is also the author of the Let's Talk About You and Me series. Robie H. Harris lives in New York City.

Chris Chatterton is an author, animator, and the illustrator of There's a Bison Bouncing on the Bed! by Paul Bright and When Santa Came to Stay by Timothy Knapman. Chris Chatterton lives in Newcastle upon Thyme, England.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Toddler-PreS-A clever blend of scanned images of wooden unit blocks and a perfectly adorable hand-drawn blue elephant set the stage of this counting and building book. Young readers will instantly be familiar with the elephant's actions; he carefully places four blocks vertically on top of each other until, "WOW! I did it! It's as tall as ME!" The pause of a page turn is enough to build suspense for the inevitable crash that follows. Poor elephant cries but continues to rebuild his tower. Background details such as sunflower yellow walls with trim and a shamrock green rug exude joyfulness. The final page turn reveals some basic math equations: one large rectangle unit block, standing next to two, then four, then eight blocks that all equal the same size when placed next to one another vertically. -VERDICT A simply presented look at block play and the mathematics behind it. Perfect for early learning collections in both public and school libraries.-Lisa Kropp, Lindenhurst Memorial Library, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

A blue elephant child determines how many square blocks she needs to stack vertically to create a tower "as tall as ME!" When the blocks topple, she crumbles ("OH NO-OOO...") before realizing that blocks stack sturdier horizontally. Harris successfully pairs basic math and building concepts with a toddler's realistic emotional crisis; both components are enhanced by Chatterton's cleanly rendered art. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

An elephant tot stacks wooden blocks to measure height. Elephant's block play is just like young readers': Elephant kneels, crouches, and stands in the course of building towers that equal their own height. A smile and wide-thrown arms express joy and satisfaction with a job well-done. And when the inevitable oops happens, the reaction is also believable: eyes shut tight, mouth a downward bow, and tears…unless it was a purposeful "crash-boom." But Elephant is not one to give up easily, and they learn through play that one extra-long block, two rectangular blocks, four square blocks on their ends, and eight square blocks on their faces are all the same height. Chatterton's illustrations combine collaged-in photos of real wooden blocks; an expressive blue cartoon elephant with a purple shirt, dot eyes, and rosy cheeks; and basic backgrounds--either white space or a yellow wall and green carpet separated by a white baseboard. Unlike many other math titles, there is no note to parents or teachers and no directions to kids--it's just a simple tale of a child exploring with blocks. Elephant's pure joy in exploration and success are sure to be catching, so make sure the blocks are close at hand. (Picture book. 3-7)

Booklist Review

Attention, aspiring architects and engineers: a first builder's blueprint for constructing really, really tall buildings has arrived! A rosy-cheeked, sky-blue elephant digs into his plastic orange blocks container and stacks one, two more, and four blocks to build a tower as tall as he is. But due to a wiggly, wobbly base, it ascends precariously, only to topple over in a dramatic CRASH! BOOM! catastrophe. After an open-mouthed wail, little elephant decides to try again, using the flat sides rather than the ends. Finally, after a few more attempts, a solid structure appears, to the smiling pachyderm's satisfaction (TA-DAH!). Over generous white space, illustrations in bright primary colors incorporate both photographs and pencil drawings, encouraging a child's computation, creativity, and problem solving. The tenacious elephant, clad in a purple sweater, appears on every page, and his expressive face conveys his every emotion, obvious in this simple story for very young children who want to construct with expertise and count as they go.--Gepson, Lolly Copyright 2018 Booklist