“Melody and song
carry words along.” So sings award-winning author, John
Archambault. Archambault invites children and teachers to float
along on a river of language where music and poetry are intertwined
for fluent and joyour language absorption and appreciation.
Most well known for his best-selling
classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom which he wrote and
dedicated to his son, Arie Alexander Archambault, 15 years ago
when he was the “new baby boom boom.” By all accounts
John Archambault is a modern day alchemist. In medieval days
the alchemists were said to have secret knowledge enabling them
to turn base metals into gold. Archambault does something no
less amazing; he turn something that many children dread: learning,
into a magical experience. John’s work motivated kids
to turn off the TV and get turned on to the magical worlds that
reading can deliver. “I have a passion for bringing words
to life. I stir rhythm, rhyme, and whimsy, stringing words so
that a melody is created, then kids can ride along on this musical
John is developing a series of Big Books (shared reading) for
Childcraft Education Corporation, incorporating musical CDs
with read-along and sing-along styles to help early readers
develop fluency and intuitive associations with print while
making the experience fun, affective, and effective. Some of
the titles to be published are: I Love the Mountains,
Turtle Song, Grandmother’s Garden, The
Birth of a Whale, Freedom’s Dream and several
titles devoted to singable, readable Mother Goose. Archambault
collaborated extensively with Bill Martin Jr. and together they
created the landmark supplemental reading program, the Sounds
Archambault has become fascinated with brain research involving
the power of music, most notably The Mozart Effect
by Don G. Campbell. “We all know that kids love music
but studies show that music may strengthen the mind, aiding
learning and membory.” To that end, Archambault has six
music compilations on CD available through Youngheart
Music performed with British recording artist and partner,
David Plummer. Titles include Painting My World and
Dancing on the Moon.
In addition to the CDs, Archambault has authored and co-authored
over 20 books. Several have won awards including Parent’s
Choice, ALA Notable Children’s book, Kentucky Blue Grass,
and the American Library Association awards. Chicka Chicka
Boom Boom (Aladdin Library, 2000) was recently chosen to
be included in the 21st Century Literature Collection along
with such famous titles as Curious George and Madeline.
Archambault’s works have appeared as featured selections
on the PBS shows “Reading Rainbow” and “Storytime.”
the complete article about John and his books by clicking here)
John signing books at Buena Vista
Spanish Immersion School
Roots Go Back to Third Grade for Children’s Author Archambault
By Sharon Dunham (1990)
Ever since he was in the third grade,
nationally-recognized children’s author, John Archambault,
knew he wanted to be a writer. That was the year he read E.
B. White’s children’s classic Charlotte’s
Web, a story about an insecure pig named Wilbur who struck
up a budding friendship with a supportive spider called Charlotte.
Archambault pictured himself as Wilbur, and his teacher, Mrs.
Williams, stepping in as an inspirational Charlotte. That teacher
was the first one who told him—“you can be a writer.
If not you, then who?”
The combination of Charlotte’s Web and Mrs. Williams
have stayed with Archambault through the years, hovering somewhere
in the back of his memory, until now, he says. He began talking
about that experience to groups for the first time last week.
On a speaking tour in Cut Bank on Monday and in Shelby on Tuesday,
Archambault described those impressionable years.
“I look back on my third grade year and I realize that
anything we imagine is possible if we become who we think we
can become,” he told third, fourth and fifth graders at
Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School in Eugene, Oregon. “If
someone catches a glimpse of us and holds up a possible self
and we run to get that—that’s what I try to model.”
Actually, Archambault says he had more than one “Charlotte”
in his life. His grandmother, Rose, a Montana native, who read
aloud to him when he was young, imparted a love of words to
him. Mrs. Williams gave him the dream that he could be a writer
and Bill Martin, Jr., who has teamed up with him to produce
books, gave him the opportunity to write.
(To read the complete article, click here)
to Buena Vista students in 1990