Beep and Bah
written by James Burks
Beep and Bah form an unlikely and enjoyable duo in this short graphic novel for children. Bah, the blue goat, wakes up to see a single red and white sock lying in front of him. He carries it over to the house of the robot Beep, and there’s only one thing Beep knows to do with a sock: find its match!
Gung-ho, Beep sets out on his own form of adventure, with Bah tagging along. They go to the pig, to the chicken, to the ox, on and on to other animals, but those animals just don’t have the necessary matching sock. They journey through loopy hills and through quicksand and into a dangerous cave and into the ocean.
The results aren’t what Beep was expecting, but they give plenty of laughs for the audience.
Beep and Bah is thirty-two pages long, ideal as a short read for kids. It manages to pack a lot of humor into those pages, giving multiple laugh-out-loud moments, and these moments often come from Beep’s behavior. If Bah is the coolheaded one, then Beep is scatterbrained, clueless, and peppy. It’s silly, but not the kind of silly you have to be 6 or under to enjoy. Adults reading it to children can enjoy its humor as well.
The art style has a cartoony look to it, like something that would work well in children’s animation. It’s in full color, and the art does everything it needs to do: It shows us fun characters and animals and helps make us laugh. Burks is excellent at facial expressions, and these expressions go hand-in-hand with the storytelling to bring the book to life.
I think this is a good book for teachers, parents, and librarians to look into for kids, because its upbeat humor makes it very readable. Children who enjoy Beep and Bah ought to also check out James Burks’ Gator and Gabby, another humorous graphic novel for young readers.