About the Author

“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 turns 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 river.”

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 of Language.

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.”

After attending Columbia Teacher’s College, Archambault was recruited to teach a first grade class in the Bronx, NY. The students were ethnically mixed and many were from poor families. Archambault used his own ear for language and a lyrical reading style to help his students learn that language is power. He loved seeing the kids excited about reading.

John’s third grade teacher handed him a copy of Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White early in that school year. He read it twice, back to back. It was his very first favorite book, and it was much more; it inspired his future career. “I told my teacher, Mrs. Williams, that I wanted to do what E. B. White does. She said, “John if you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader.” That was not a problem as John began the first grade already reading, fortunate to have been read-aloud to and raised in a household that valued books and reading.

Some of the other best selling books by Archambault include, Knots on a Counting Rope (Owlet September 1987), Barn Dance (Henry Holt & Company, Inc. October 1989), Here Are My Hands (Henry Holt, 1987), and The Birth of a Whale (Silver Press 1996).

The new book, Boom Chicka Rock, (Philomel, a division of Penguin Putman) is due out in May 2004. It teaches young children to count through the lively antics of mice who live behind a numbers on a clock. The characters seem to leap off the pages with the use of dance styles including everything from the jitterbug to the tango. Numbers have never been this much fun! Older readers will love the toe-tapping rhythm and humor in the text.

John grew up in Sierra Madre California and his first book, The Ghost-Eye Tree, originated from an actual old oak tree near his boyhood home on Highland Avenue. He attended the University of California, Riverside where he was editor of his school paper, the Highlander. Prior to teaching, Archambault was a journalist, writing for the Pasadena Star News. He now travels the country reading and performing at schools, libraries, conferences, and other venues. Archambault , friendly, gregarious, and an engaging performer with a wonderfully rich voice, is the perfect presenter for large and small groups as well as television and radio.

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©2004 John Archambault