Monday, November 5, 2012

book pick: Beep and Bah

my brother got married last month, and i was his best woman (ahhhh). as part of the bridal party introductions, we were supposed to come up with a "hidden talent." i couldn't think of anything besides being handy with an em-dash—you know, like this—but that was my "known talent." well, i finally thought of one.

drum roll... my hidden talent: sound effects for picture books. (cymbal crash!)

i realize that in print, that was totally anticlimactic. (imagine a wah-wah-wah-waaaaaaaah here.) but just work with me here, people.

i rock the animal sounds, kerplink-kerplank-kerplunk's, squishy mud sounds using spit and that part of the mouth between the cheek and jaw ... dude, i even occasionally throw in a la-la-la soundtrack. (i do, however, avoid Donald Duck, which i cannot mimic. we leave that one to Daddy, who can.)

so it comes as no surprise that we've been reading and re-reading Beep and Bah around our house, a colorful, cartoonish caricature of two friends—a goat and a robot—as they search for a missing sock, asking various animals along the way if they possess its match (mooooogrrrooowlsqueekity squeekeeeeeooooooo). Beep and Bah have a great adventure, plowing along until they hit the end of the road, never quite realizing how close they are to that elusive (and smelly?) sock...

this uber-onomatopoeic picture book comes from James Burks ("professional maker-upper-er"), a one-time animator for the likes of Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. and Disney. so he's definitely an illustration talent (the kind of person who produces this in an hour while drinking a coffee at Starbucks). and this book shows he's also got a great sense for humorous storytelling, too.

a lot of the fun sounds are built into this book. but consider also:


- adding a bit of the William Tell Overture to the opening Bah-waking-up-in-the-morning panes

- pop-pop-popping or otherwise giving sound to Beep and Bah's movements through the book (don't forget to muffle them when Beep goes into the quick sand)

- move your finger up and down your throat for the parts where they speak underwater

- invoke your inner Dory for the whale call

so, what books do you like best for their sounds?


1 comment:

  1. We love "Traction Man" and "Traction Man Meets Trubo Dog" for sounds and for fun super hero announcer voices, too! (think Adam West Batman and meanwhile back at the Batcave...). So glad you found your hidden talent! :-)

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