Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beep and Bah by James Burks

 I giggled all the way through - as did the two librarians I was reading it to. Generally, graphic novel picture books are hard to read aloud, but this book perfectly blends the visual and text to create a silly story that will keep small children and adults snickering all the way through.

Bah the goat, who never says anything but "bah!" gets up one morning, and finds a sock in front of his trashcan. He takes it down to his friend, Beep the robot, who never stops talking. Beep knows just what to do, "We must find its match!" and immediately they set off.

"Do you smell that, Bah?
That, my friend, is the smell of adventure.
or it could be this sock. Hard to say, seeing that I don't have a...nose." says Beep.

As they go up and down hills in a Seussian landscape, They meet an array of square farm animals, including a pig, chicken, ox, cow and more. They encounter quicksand, meteors, and travel underwater. No matter what happens, Beep is always enthusiastic, always ready to translate animal sounds, and always enthusiastic. When their journey is over, they may not have found the other sock (or have they?) but they certainly had an adventure!

The perfect comedic timing of art and text is a large part of what makes this so funny. As they encounter various animals, Beep's optimistic approach to their baas and clucks will spark off endless giggles as they contrast with the sometimes unexpected events.

Verdict: Read this in storytime to a variety of ages, take it on school visits, and listen to the laughter explode. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9780761365679; Published January 2012 by Carolrhoda; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library.

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