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BEEP AND BAH by James Burks


by James Burks & illustrated by James Burks

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7613-6567-9
Publisher: Carolrhoda

In an improbably compelling quest, a goat and a rolling robot go on the hunt for a single sock’s mate.

Bah the goat finds it and trots (almost) silently behind as extroverted Beep the robot does the talking: “Hello, Pig. Does this sock belong to you?” Alas, not greedy pig nor frantic chicken, not angry ox, grumpy bear or bird, snake, monkey, frog, crab, giant squid—or, for that matter, clam, fish or rock own up. Framing angular, jellybean-colored cartoons in graphic panels and channeling classic Hanna Barbera–style humor and storytelling, Burks (Gabby and Gator, 2010) sends his odd couple “where no goat has gone before.” They trek up and down rollercoaster hills, through quicksand and ocean deeps in a search that outdoes even Eric Carle’s classic Do You Want To Be My Friend? (1971) for serial relentlessness. Reaching a sign reading “Go Back. End of the Road” Beep admits at last, “I guess we’ll never find the other sock.” But: “It was a Great Adventure!”—and, as the final picture’s visual punch line reveals, that second sock was along for the entire ride.

It’s a ride is rich enough in slapstick, comical mishaps, jokes and general silliness to make anyone want to invite themselves along. (Picture book. 5-7)