Shower Happening! Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle
Two boys, heading for the park, notice a few drops of cold rain. They watch a dad hustle his daughter, a girl their age in a bright yellow dress, down the stairs to the subway.
TAP TAP TAP TAP
BOOM BOOM BOOM!
Umbrellas bloom and gutters gurgle as the rain ruins the boys' playday plans. Suddenly, everyone seems to scurrying in the same direction.
WHERE THE WATER
Everyone around them streams down the subway stairs to escape the storm.
Thunder boomer! It's a bummer!
But, it's not. The little group of rainstorm refugees wait, and a couple of dogs take the opportunity to shake themselves dry, sending drops all over. The little crowd laugh at themselves, windblown and rain-spattered, and smile at each other as they huddle together in their ad hoc haven.
There's a girl in fancy dance costume on her way to class, a tall lady with a gussied-up poodle, all kinds of people, on their own little island for a moment. One guy passes around slices of his pizza to all takers. It's really a bit cozy down there, safe from the storm, where the thunder seems far away.
TOGETHER IS BETTER.
But it's only a summer sun-shower, and as the tap tap taps above slow, the boys race upstairs where they find some giant sidewalk puddles reflecting the skyscrapers and sky to shatter as they bounce their basketball in them and splash each other. Then they spot a rainbow shining in the clearing sky over the city.
NOW PEOPLE SCATTER,
THROUGH PUDDLE SPLATTER.
WE WAVE GOODBYE!
"SO LONG! KEEP DRY!"
Author Elizabeth Bluemle and artist G. Brian Karas capture a rare moment of impromptu community in the big city in their Tap Tap Boom Boom (Candlewick Press, 2014) as a sudden shower brings a group of strangers together. Kids, dogs, shoppers, workers, and errand do-ers share shelter and forget their destinations for a moment. Bleumle's impetuous urban rhythms and playful rhymes set the mood, and G. Brian Karas' illustrations capture the scene with a combination of photo-collaged city settings set against his overlay of art, with his witty portrayals of busy city people stopped in their soppy tracks by the rainstorm.
This book achieves a special mood set by the perfect combination of text, text design, and art that is both humorous and warm, a moment foreshadowed by Karas' frontispiece, a giant raindrop in which the cityscape is reflected. This is a wonderful picture book with plenty in the pictures for readers to discover and a lively refrain--TAP TAP BOOM BOOM--to join, one which leaves the reader with a different feeling about city folk and thunderstorms. "...magical," says the New York Times, "the kind of interruption in routine that might loom large in a small child's eyes and is rendered evocatively here."