Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain by Dave Keane

35924872Lynn: “Bobby Bramble liked to climb, somersault, jump, bounce, slide, swing, sprint, flip, hang upside down, and generally give gravity a run for its money.” Everyone worries that Bobby will crack his head open and, of course, one day he does just that. His brain, a curly pink mass on legs, makes a break for freedom leaving Bobbie as “dumb as an onion.” The whole town joins the hunt but Bobbie’s brain is wily, even avoiding traps set with flash cards. It takes Bobbie himself to literally gather his wits and convince his brain that they belong together.

Dave Keane’s bounding pun-laden text is matched perfectly by the hilarious cartoons drawn by David Clark for Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain (Clarion, 2009). The large colorful illustrations sprawl across the pages and while all the characters are delightful, the escaping brain is the real star of this wonderful book. Our focus group adored the book as soon as I brought it home and I’m going to have to sneak it out the door to return it to the library when they aren’t looking. I think we’ve just about got it memorized and I know I have to get it ordered for our collection. The letter-box size and large illustrations are well suited to story-time, as a lap book and also for quiet solo time spent locating the runaway brain’s hideouts. “Dumb as an onion, ” is destined to become a family phrase too!

Cindy: Wait a minute. What do you mean when YOU brought it home? I seem to remember that it was ME who requested this from the public library and I made the mistake of stopping by YOUR house to show it to you and never saw it again after your sticky fingered grandsons took possession! Now, let’s get the story straight. It was Ed Spicer who showed us this fabulous book and we were both eager to get our hands on our own copy. I think I’ll be buying this in multiple to give as gifts for upcoming celebrations. The best part of dropping by your house was that I got to read the book aloud to our focus group. Mason and Hayden giggled and pointed and loved the open-hatched head (reminded me of Mad Magazine). I loved the puns about the missing brain using old chestnut phrases and idioms that will appeal to the adults reading this book aloud. I’d quote one, but someone is hogging the book! It’s late and I’m still not packed for conference and have no idea where any of my meetings are being held or at what time. I feel like my brain has already left for Chicago, maybe it’s chasing after Bobby Bramble’s nimble brain! I’d better go find it! You, dear blog readers, need to find this book (and keep a close eye on it so you don’t lose it to eager young readers)

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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