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Crash! Boom! A Math Tale
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Crash! Boom! A Math Tale

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  32 reviews
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
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Candlewick Press
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3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  140 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Teresa Bateman
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a deceptively clever book. A young elephant is playing with his blocks. How many will it take to create a stack as high as him? Wait, the pile is unstable when they're placed edgewise and CRASH! BOOM! How about stacking them differently? How about using different kinds of blocks? There are a myriad of math applications here--counting, equivalent fractions, addition, subtraction, etc. And let's not forget the science concepts of balance and gravity. Yet, it's all aimed at preschoolers wit ...more
Neha Thakkar
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: skip
This is a very simple book that shows an elephant child building a tower. As he builds, he learns that stacking the blocks in different ways can result in towers that are stronger. I like the concept but feel that it was too simple for most kids that are interested in building.
Donna Dobihal Smith
Jun 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'm not sure what the author's intention is: to teach kids how to successfully build with blocks, to count? The use of photographs and illustrations together works nicely, and the cheerful, blue elephant is delightful but I suspect kids will have trouble transferring the information to the block corner.
Baby Bookworm
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

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 u
McKenzie Richardson
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Since this book was labeled as "A Math Tale", I was expecting a little more. There really isn't much math involved. Yes, the elephant counts up to 8 and shows that the tower is the same height as he is, but that's about it. The narration didn't even focus on the subtraction of blocks when the tower fell. There are things parents can point out to their kids, but I think that is true with almost every book.

The illustrations were interesting. They fea
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, storytime
So much potential! A story about a little elephant building with blocks, seeking to make a tower as tall as they are, so they can knock it down? What child wouldn't love that? It is just the ending that feels unfinished. The tower is built, knocked down, built again, and knocked down, then built again, and the elephant falls asleep?? Really?
I do really like the illustrations. The basic background sets off the blue elephant, and the blocks look like photos. A child could look at just the photos
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Crash! Boom!... a wonderful short story for young readers first starting on their counting journey. The adorable blue elephant attempts to stack jenga-like wooden blocks to add a couple at a time to equal his or her height. The cheerful elephant struggles, attempts different methods, and triumphs while counting, learning geometry, organization, and fun! Fun words and a happy ending that reminds children to pick themselves up if they fall and try, try again.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A math book for toddlers? Yes, please! The adorable elephant character counts his blocks as he stacks them up! Every toddler can relate when he works so hard to stack and then accidentally knocks them over...but next time he has fun knocking them down! Up and down is half the fun! He experiments with stacking them different ways too which shows toddlers about trying different things...great all around, while simple enough for the littlest readers.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Really cute story about an elephant building a tower (but also secretly about math!). It's so charming - you can practically see the wheels turning in Elephant's head as they try to figure out how to get it juuuust right.
Denise Walsh
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I loved this little book for preschoolers. As did my 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 year old grandsons. It’s fun and educational at the same time. The illistrations are charming and I would certainly recommend it highly!
Patricia McLaughlin
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Math concepts are as elusive as the storyline in this odd tale about an Elephant obsessed with its own height. The lovely photographs of the beautiful wooden blocks steal the show; perhaps the blocks could have told their own story without the elephantine protagonist?
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, storytime
The illustrations MAKE this book! I love the photographed blocks!!! It's a super-simple story, but it does teach basic counting, comparison words, and that sometimes you have to keep trying if you want to reach a goal. Highly recommended.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: concept, easy
great counting book for young toddlers.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Would be great for a building block storytime for toddlers...pair with Irene Dickson's Blocks.
Mary Norell Hedenstrom
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great STEM book for pre-schoolers showing how to problem solve when building a tower.
I really like Robie Harris, but I found this one just kind of so-so.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ila
Nice math book useful for demonstrating non-standard measuring units with a cartoonish elephant amid a backdrop of photos of real wooden blocks.
Great for discussing size/number.
Darlene Ivy
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
STEM engineering for the preschool crowd. Taller/shorter/more. Hands-on experimentation. Fun! We4ll done!
Annie Young
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So cute!
Clear concept book - combination of photos of real blocks and simple elephant character show size comparisons for the youngest of readers.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perfect early math share.
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun picture book about building and counting for the youngest of kids.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
There wasn't much math but the art is cute
Miss Sarah
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
A young elephant wants to build a block tower bigger than him and spends the day experimenting with his blocks. Toddler and up
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: pb
Stacking blocks, mishaps, solutions found. Cute, subtly math-oriented, block building story.
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun book with some basic math elements.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super cute!
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: acls, kids, storytime
Cute for toddler ST.
Miss Pippi the Librarian
An up and down tale about building blocks and counting.

2019 storytime theme: falling down

Reviewed from a library copy.
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Robie H. Harris has written many award-winning books for children of all ages, including the definitive Family Library about sexuality: IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL, IT'S SO AMAZING!, and IT'S NOT THE STORK! She lives in Massachusetts.