29 June 2010

Book(s) of the Week (67): "Bob and Barry's Lunar Adventures" by Simon Bartram

I first met Bob, the man on the moon, and Barry, his strange one-eyed canine companion, in Simon Bartram’s lovingly drawn picture books. Now two new chapter books allow young readers to experience their adventures in an exciting new series.

In The Disappearing Moon, the Mysterious Alacazamo, earth’s most powerful magician, makes the moon disappear, and Bob’s job is on the line. Under orders from his tough, cake-loving boss Tarantula Von Trumpet, Bob has to race against the clock to solve the mystery of its disappearance. Is there a clue in the magician's autobiography, The Hocus Pocus Hombre? Wonderfully witty illustration and hilarious characters like Hyacinth Trombone and Cornelius Trolley will have you rooting for Bob on his madcap adventure.

A Right Royal Disaster plunges Bob into terror when he discovers he has to host the birthday party for frighteningly bad-tempered Queen Battleaxe on his beloved moon. He has to make sure the party goes with a bang or he’ll lose his head! He enlists the help of celebrated royal artist Sir Lucien to create the largest ever sculpture of the Queen – on the moon. All seems to be going well until Bob decides to help out, with hilarious and terrifying results. Only Bob’s detective work about the Queen’s mysterious past can avert certain disaster. This story is tender, tense and has a very unexpected ending.

Recommended by Ariel Kahn

[NB A third in the 'Bob & Barry' series, The Heartless Robot, is due out in September.]

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