Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain

By Dave Keane and illustrated by David Clark

Clarion Books, 2009

$16, ages 4-8

Little eyes will do loop-de-loops of delight as they try to keep up with Bobby and his brain somersaulting from one page to the next.

Bobby is a boy who has energy to spare; he loves to climb and bounce and isn't afraid to dive off buildings. In fact, he thinks he's too hard-headed to get hurt and he can outwit gravity despite his mother's warnings that he'll fall and crack open his head.

Then one day he goes too far, leaps out from the second story of his house and topples head-first. His head pops open and out runs his brain, beginning a chase through town to get it back.

Bobby's father announces a $20 reward for its safe return, spurring the whole town to scramble to get it back. But no one is clever enough. The family needs someone as fast, strong and brave as Bobby. They need Bobby, but his thoughts are all scrambled. So they give Bobby a whiff of the top of his head to put him on the scent of his brain and Bobby takes off on instinct, leaping after his most vital organ in a race of brain against braun.

This is one of those fantasies you give into with abandon. It's crazy wonderful fun and doesn't need credibility to work. What's more you don't wince as you'd think you might when Bobby's head cracks open. Keane makes the break in Bobby's noggin look like a canister lid popping open as the brain takes off in a sprint.

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