This surreal yet sincere French import is one of the more interesting books in my life so far.
Six linked stories full of friendship, silliness, and the little moments that make life good.
Written by Catharina Valckx and illustrated by Nicolas Hubesch
Translated by Antony Shugaar
Bruno, the cat in the checkered cap, takes life as it comes.
When it’s too rainy to go outside, he rustles up an inside picnic with his friends. When he meets a fish swimming in the air, he follows it. Why not! When the canary forgets how to sing and can only speak gibberish, Bruno helps out.
Days come and go, and they always bring something interesting. And once in a while, a day comes along that is just about perfect! These six linked stories by a top children’s writer and renowned comic artist are full of friendship, silliness, and the little moments that make life good.
Country of Origin France Reader Age 6-8 year Book Size 22.4 × 18 cm 22.4 × 18 cm ISBN Bruno 9781776571253
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Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal (US) –
Split into six days (I just love that it isn’t seven) some are good, some bad, but all of them (even the
boring one) are interesting.
Freya Daly Sadgrove, The Spinoff (NZ) –
It’s such a Gecko book: gorgeous, surprising, filled with kindness….for a new reader it could function almost as an early chapter book. It’s just so much fun.
Travis Jonker, School Library Journal (US) –
Because this surreal yet sincere French import is one of the more interesting books in my life so far
Starred review, Horn Book (US) –
A superb early reader/early chapter book
School Librarian (UK) –
French artist Hubesch and renowned Dutch author-illustrator Catharina Valckx have created memorable characters who will amuse and delight through many re-readings.
School Library Connection (US) –
A graphic novel-inspired book with wacky characters … will expand the vocabulary of young readers as they enjoy these lighthearted stories about fun and friendship.
Looking Glass Review –
In this delightfully unique book we get to share six very different days with Bruno … Readers never know what to expect as they read through this book, which is packed full of surprises, silliness, good times, and good friends.
Kirkus Reviews (US) –
Readers and listeners with a taste for the quietly surreal may find this an (almost) perfect option.
The Source –
The concluding three pages – making Bruno’s day perfect – constitute a gem of verbal and visual story-telling.
The Children’s Bookshop (NZ) –
Bruno is full of detailed illustrations of the world where Bruno and his friends live and is an entertaining book for reading aloud and learning to read.
Where the Books Are (Australia) –
Full of reasons for optimism and a sense of wonder…In mixing offbeat stories with familiar, everyday experiences, Bruno manages to make the everyday seem important and full of potential.
The Bookbag (UK) –
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… But way above all that it’s just a joyfully silly read.
Financial Times (UK) –
Netherlands-born Catharina Valckx has a writing style that seems to revel in obliqueness and gentle surrealism, well complemented here by French illustrator Nicolas Hubesch’s wobbly-line cartooning. Bruno is a book that blends the mundane and the bizarre to interesting effect and may appeal to quirky primary-schoolers.
Youth Services Book Review (US) –
Like people, they go on walks and eat snacks. Like animals, they do sometimes want to eat one another. Completely captivating illustrations take center stage here, the style a cross between William Steig and Richard Scarry.
Tall, Short, Tiny and a Pickle blog (NZ) –
[Children] get the jokes, and the silliness, and I love seeing what cracks them up about each different story. The lines are so dead-pan, but brilliantly delivered, and the illustrations are bold and perfectly detailed to enhance the text.
Publishers Weekly (US) –
Illustrated with jaunty, Tintin-style drawings, Valckx’s hero, a cat named Bruno, recounts days in which the fantastic and the ordinary collide… Readers will note right away that even Bruno’s normal circumstances are pretty wacky (why are those boars driving that car?); it’s these casual ventures into the surreal that give Valckx’s story its charm.
School Library Journal (US) –
I kept thinking “I want more books like this!” as I was reading.