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Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3

picture book by Bill Martin

Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 is a New York Times best-selling children's book written by Bill Martin, Jr. and Michael Sampson. The book features anthropomorphized numbers.

Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3
AuthorBill Martin, Jr. & Michael Sampson
IllustratorLois Ehlert
Cover artistLois Ehlert
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's picture book
Publication date
July 6, 2004
Media typeHardback
[E] 22
LC ClassPZ8.3.M3988 Cf 2004
Preceded byChicka Chicka Boom Boom 


  • 1Plot
  • 2Development
  • 3Reception
  • 4Awards
  • 5Adaptations
  • 6External links


The number 0 wants to climb up an apple tree, as he watches the numbers from 1 to 20 in counting order, then 30 to 90 by tens, and finally 99, climb it. But as they all come before him, there is no room for him, so 0 starts to cry. After all the numbers are in the apple tree, 0 hides behind the tree when several bumblebees come and say that it is their tree. While counting backwards, the bumblebees fly around them, causing all the numbers (except 10 who was hiding, but including 99 who immediately disappeared), to tumble out of the tree. Also while tumbling out, 11 gets bent up, 8 gets a crack, and 6 gets twisted. The number 0 now knows where he would be in the apple tree. He goes to the top of the tree and joins with 10 to make the number 100, which scares all the bumblebees away, and all the other numbers come back out and cheer for the numbers 10 and 0.


The publisher, S&S, originally asked Bill Martin, Jr. to write a sequel to his book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. But when he and co-author Michael Sampson turned the manuscript in, it was rejected. That manuscript was published by Henry Holt as the title "Rock It, Sock It, Number Line." 5 years later Martin and Sampson wrote a 2nd counting book, and it became Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3.


The book quickly became a best-seller, and is used by teachers throughout the United States to teach counting and place value to young children.


The book has won numerous awards from a variety of publications, libraries, and parenting groups, including Best Book of 2004 by Parenting Magazine.


Weston Woods produced an animated cartoon of the book, complete with music and song.

External links[edit]Edit

  • Michael Sampson personal website
  • Bill Martin, Jr. personal website