by David Schiller, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal

published by Workman Publishing Company


I've picked this as my first book pick of the month because well, Halloween is coming and heck, this book comes with a built in costume of sorts––your own runaway beard to wear and play with.

The tale begins with Dad, who one day decides to shave off his dark mangy beard. The children gather around to watch Dad prime his face with shaving cream and while they're at it of course, the boy and girl squirt themselves with a bit the foamy lather. But before Dad can shave off The Beard, it hops right off his face and leaps onto the nearest face––the baby! This story gets more ridiculous with each page turn and the boy in the story soon finds himself the proud owner of his very own black bushy beard. When everyone laughs at the boy and his new beard, The Beard decides to "lay low." This is when the story's absurdity grows, as The Beard attempts to hide on various objects––a dog's shirt, the Mona Lisa, a flower, a doll's dress, and it even becomes a strange looking octopus in a fish tank. Meanwhile, the children search everywhere for The Beard. After finding the poor beard hiding in the basement, they devise a plan–a new home for the sad beard––their uncle's bald head! Finally, The Beard has a happy home and their bushy-haired uncle couldn't be happier.


The Runaway Beard is just plain absurd and that's why I love it. I highly recommend this book for any youngster (or adult!) with an offbeat sense of humor. The text is short and well paced. The pages are well designed and artwork is retro-funky and a heck of a lot of fun!