Living in Singapore, located just a smidge above the Equator, we are no strangers to torrential tropical rains and thunderstorms, which occur often enough throughout the year. Some of these storms can be quite frightening — particularly if you’re caught out on the streets with or without a flimsy umbrella, or worse, driving on wet roads with barely any visibility (save for the sight of flashing lightning) and to the soundtrack of cracking thunder and a crying baby (alas this happened to us once). And even if you’re safe at home, the howling winds pounding on your windows and the crackling sound of thunder can be quite unsettling even for grown-ups, let alone little children.
Boom! Boom! Boom! is thus the perfect book to read on such cold, wet nights while snuggling under the blanket with your child. In a slight twist to the usual frightened-child tale, the boy in the story is not afraid of the thunderstorm raging outside his bedroom window. In fact, he’s getting ready to snuggle in bed with Fred, his teddy, and a book, when his frightened puppy asks to snuggle in with him, and he obliges. However, what he doesn’t anticipate is that all his other pets would also, one by one, ask to bunk in with him; in the end, even his sister decides to join in the unintentional (and short-lived) slumber party.
I liked the general camaraderie of the characters in the story and the humorous rhyming prose — particularly the refrain that punctuates the book, which makes the real thunder that kids hear seem less scary, since they can yell, “Flash! Crash! Boom! Boom! Boom!” along with the real thunderous booms. The adorable illustrations are also very appealing, and have a fuzzy, sleepy, bluish quality that fits in well with the stormy bedtime scenario.