Dystopian Storytime: BAAA

Dystopian Storytime: BAAABAAA by David Macaulay
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children on September 30, 1985
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 64
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

After the last person has gone from the earth, sheep take over the world, make the same mistakes as humans, and eventually disappear as well.

BAAAA by David Macualay is, without a doubt, my favorite picture book of all time, due, largely, to the fact that it is one of the least appropriate for children picture books. BAAA would fall, I suppose, under the heading of post-apocalyptic perhaps more than dystopian, since clearly something happened to clear out all of the humans, though it’s really not clear what since they left good behind as well as undamaged good. That part is a mystery, a creepy, creepy mystery.

This picture book will likely horrify any children that happen to read it, assuming they figure out that soylent green is people. Because of that fact, this book has never been particularly successful. The picture book format targets very young readers, but the subject matter and dark humor, with lots of intelligent references (Casablanca is one), make this a treasure for adults, who will, likely, never discover it. Most libraries, I believe, do not carry it, and, if they do, probably not in the picture book section.

BAAA is an underrated gem of a book, coming at twice the length of the standard picture book. This is one to buy and enjoy for yourself, not to share with the kiddies.


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