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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Catharina Valckx
Age Range: 6-8
Bruno the cat takes life as it comes because he knows it will always bring something interesting. When a fish called ‘Bup’ invites him and his friend Ringo the pony into the river to visit her underwater world they are happy to follow. On a day that’s too rainy to go outside, Bruno’ friends come around for breakfast, although this turns into quite a scary prospect, especially for Georgette the turtledove, when dreaded Gerald the wolf turns up. And when ‘Tweety’ the canary forgets how to talk Bruno is ready to help out.
Bruno’s first-person narrative follows six days in his life (or chapters which are of varying length) from – ‘A Peculiar Day’, ‘A Rainy Day’, ‘A Day When the Power Went Out’, ‘A Stupid Day (That Ends Pretty Well)’, ‘A More Interesting Day’ to ‘An Almost Perfect Day’.
Dutch author Catharina Valckx’s prose are clever and pithy ensuring that the endearing and loveable Bruno will captivate young readers. First published in French, it has been eloquently translated by Antony Shugaar. The cartoon-style illustrations from Nicholas Hubesch enhance the text with their expressive, gentle humour and intricate detail. His slightly familiar-looking European cityscapes are rendered in a palette of soft blues and creams while the animal characters bring a splash of colour; from Bruno’s checkered blue cap, Ringo’s green trousers and yellow tie to Gloria the cow’s bright pink dress.