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BAM BAM BAM by Eve Merriam


by Eve Merriam & illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8050-3527-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

 An in-your-face version of a 1966 action poem, with a retro look and feel (do demolition crews still use pickaxes and sledgehammers?). In Merriam's kinetic depiction of an urban rebuilding project, the ambiguity hinted at (there is excitement as well as regret in the lines, ``Down go the houses,/down go the stores'') here is overshadowed by the violence of the demolition process: the wrecking ball seems about to fly off the page into viewers' laps. Noisy words (``slam,'' ``bam,'' ``crash,'' ``pow,'' ``zam'') appear in fat, colored type (although a ``zowie'' is nearly lost in a blue-on-black treatment), the palette is built around intensely vibrating complementary colors, and the stylized figures of the workers (exaggerated shoulders and torsos tapering to absurdly tiny hands, feet, and heads) gleam with the slick highlights of shiny plastic inflatable toys. A real attention- getter, this book looks as harsh and raucous as it sounds. (Picture book. 2-5)