Bruno by Catharina Valckx and Nicolas Hubesch

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Bruno by Catharina Valckx and Nicolas Hubesch

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Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A gentle form of bonkers, the world featuring this friendly feline and his funny-peculiar friends has to be seen to be believed.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 88 Date: March 2017
Publisher: Gecko Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781776571253

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Meet Bruno. No, not that Bruno – for pity's sake, this is a book for the under-eights and not a character from teen comedy movies. No, Bruno is a quite unmistakeable cat, in a bright blue cloth cap, and this is a book regarding various days in his life that he thinks are of note – whether they're the day the power goes out, or a day that would be completely uninteresting were it not for a joke from his best friend. But don't you dare make the mistake of thinking this sounds mundane – here is a background couple, of a hippo and a crocodile, just walking past the heroes. Here is said best friend, an elderly pony, forced somehow to walk backwards. Here is when Bruno is playing host to a turtle dove addicted to jam, who is forced to hide when a wet wolf gate-crashes. I think you'll agree that any day spent reading this book will not be a boring one.

I also think it patently obvious, even to the youngest of readers, that this is a bonkers book. Many chapters are a sensible length, one is just a double-paged spread. The friendships and characters therein break all known extremes as regards anthropomorphism. And by being so eagerly peculiar right from the off, with a flying fish, the backwards walk for the pony, and more, the sense of the bizarre is right to the fore. And that's before the canary comes in with his garbled English.

It's at this point in proceedings that I have to say I don't generally like the absurdly weird. But it's at this point in proceedings when I say I really did like this. It's not absurdity for absurdity's sake, but a friendly take on the unusual. It could be a heavily-disguised message about taking whatever the world throws at you, and living each day as it comes, and accepting any and every kind of friend… But way above all that it's just a joyfully silly read.

There's not much reading going on here. It's certainly not a picture book, but we get at most one large paragraph-ful of script to each page, either at the bottom or top, or perhaps providing captions below two images. The artwork is of an easy, hand-drawn kind, with a welcome style, vivid colouring, and nothing like a fully straight line anywhere. So while the read is a little slight, I'm sure the pages will appeal enough to demand re-reading, meaning that any day can be an interesting one.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

The Day No One Was Angry by Toon Tellegen and Marc Boutavant (illustrator) is a different animal world, with a similar theme of notable days.

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Buy Bruno by Catharina Valckx and Nicolas Hubesch at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bruno by Catharina Valckx and Nicolas Hubesch at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Bruno by Catharina Valckx and Nicolas Hubesch at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bruno by Catharina Valckx and Nicolas Hubesch at


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