REVIEW: The Beach Boys Present The ABC’s of California

By David Beard

Available Now

When the review copy of this book arrived, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After I viewed the sample pages on Amazon, it seemed to be purposefully marketed to a very young generation and demographic. It is. Then I visited the Fantoons site and learned this isn’t the first book of this ilk that they’ve produced. There’s Tio Simon ABC, A Bilingual Children’s Book; Johnny Ramone’s Learn to Count 1-2-3-4 Johnny Ramone, and now The Beach Boys – The ABC’s of California.

As I went through this book – reviewing each page – it felt a bit too hodgepodge, so I took the time to make a playlist based on the songs included on each page (except the letters Q, U, X, and Z). Then, I went back and began to look at the illustrations while listening to the songs. That made for a very interesting listening experience. The songs – in alphabetical order – are:

All Summer Long

Be True to Your School

California Saga (On My Way to Sunny California)

Dance, Dance, Dance

Everyone’s in Love With You

Fun, Fun, Fun

Good to My Baby

Honkin’ Down the Highway

I Get Around

Johnny Carson

Keepin’ the Summer Alive

Little Old Lady From Pasadena

The Man with All The Toys

Noble Surfer

Our Team

Please Let Me Wonder

Q = Question

Rocking Surfer

Sloop John B

This Car of Mine

U = Ukulele/fun fact


Wind Chimes

X = Xylophone/fun fact

You’re So Good to Me

Z = Zoo

The most notable song titles have their allure, but the obscure “Johnny Carson” is a bit outside the proverbial sandbox. Nonetheless, I sat and listened while I perused this book, and I was pleasantly surprised by the song selection; it’s interesting to hear these songs in this sequence.

The following day, when continually working on this review, I brought the book to work and showed it to the father of a three-year-old son. The father, a casual fan and musician familiar with The Beach Boys, thought it was an interesting-looking book and concept. He opened it up, started turning the pages, and said, “I’ve never been to California, and my son would love this!” So, in a nutshell, this is the very reason this book exists. Right? For all intents and purposes that means this book has hit its mark. So, for those who have children, grandchildren, and/or great-grandchildren, this is an ideal gift to sit down with your next generation of family members to share your love of The Beach Boys and introduce yet another generation of fans to this wondrous musical world.


[Note: Fantoons is offering a HAWTHORNE BUNDLE (LTD EDITION) that includes the same Little Froot Scoup cereal box, enamel pins, and sticker sheet that were included with the official coloring book released in 2023, along with a coffee mug featuring the animated Beach Boys carrying the surfboard from the cover art.]

©2024 David M. Beard/All Rights Reserved


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