What, you ask, is a brumella? You will have to read this book to find out. On the way you will meet Fennymore who has lost his parents. He does have a bicycle called Monbijou, who thinks he is a horse and an Aunt Elsie who eats salt-baked daschund (don’t worry this doesn’t happen here), and the evil Dr Hourgood. Will Fennymore find the answer to the mystery of the lost invention before the doctor gets there?
This is a wonderfully surreal story that successfully mixes humour with the slightly gruesome, to create an imaginative romp that carries the reader along. There is no need for Fennymore or Fizzy to be rounded characters. It is, after all, a fairytale and we are happy to accompany them on their quest to foil the villainous doctor and his mind-modification. There is no hesitation as the narrative moves smartly along in this lively translation by Siobhán Parkinson, while David Roberts’s illustrations capture the flavour of the text perfectly. For confident young readers who enjoy the unusual.