cover image Beep and Bah

Beep and Bah

James Burks. Carolrhoda, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7613-6567-9

When Beep, a sunny robot, spots phlegmatic goat Bah with a single sock in his mouth, he embarks on a quest to find its mate. “Do you smell that, Bah?” says Beep self-importantly as they set off. “That, my friend, is the smell of adventure. Or it could be this sock.” With Bah as his Sancho Panza, Beep travels over hill and dale, through a quicksand pit, and even into the deep-sea lair of a giant squid in search of the sock’s owner, interviewing animals (and a rock) he meets along the way—a pig is essentially a ham-colored rectangle, and a chicken gets nailed by a meteor after squawking that the sky is falling. Burks (Gabby and Gator) has worked for Nickelodeon and Disney, and their influence is clear in this sweetly silly quest: it’s manic, irreverent, and self-referential through and through. Beep’s relentless belief in his own heroism (which makes his indefatigable running commentary great fun to read aloud), combined with the comics-style framings and geeky-goofy supporting cast, should keep this story in heavy rotation. Ages 5–9. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Mar.)