Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss







The Man Who Lost His Head

line The Man Who Lost His Head
by Claire Huchet Bishop (Author), Robert McCloskey (Illustrator)

Literally!

In 2003, the New York Review of Children’s Collection started publishing children’s books “in an attempt to reward readers who long wished for the return of their favorite titles and to introduce those books to a new generation of readers”. The NYR books publishes books for pre-schoolers through to chapter books and novels for older children.

“The Man Who Lost His Head” is a New York Review Children’s picture book, written by author Bishop known for her books like “The Five Chinese Brothers” or “Pancakes-Paris” and illustrated by Robert McCloskey, best known for his books “Blueberries for Sal” and “Make way for Ducklings”.

This is a story about a man who wakes up one morning and finds that he has lost his most agreeable and handsome head! Literally! Frantically, the man “looks” for it everywhere!

The Man Who Lost His Head Lost2

But it was not to be found anywhere! So he tries really hard to remember.. but that was hard to do without his head! Frown Fortunately, his hands and legs remind him of the pig that he had taken to the fair to be sold yesterday. So the man who lost his head decides to go back to the fair and look for his head there.

But, he couldn’t possibly go out without a head, can he? So he decides to make a new one!

The Man Who Lost His Head Parsnip

 

But no matter what he tries on, the “new” head was just not right! Finally, he settles in for a head carved out of wood. It wasn’t like his head from before, but it would have to do.

As he walks through the village, the people greet him pleasantly. The man who lost his head thinks that this new head might not be so bad after all. Finally, he reaches the fair and wonders “where shall I look for my head?

The Man Who Lost His Head Pumpkin

It turns out that a young chap who knows no discipline saves the day before the man who lost his head loses it forever! How? Read this book to find out Smile

This is a delightful story, with just the right amount of “craziness” going on! Entertaining, yet bizarre, the story about the man who lost his head is fresh and exciting right from page one. Bishop’s story telling is masterful, funny and amusing.

What makes this book special is McCloskey’s exquisite graphic pen and ink art work. Each page has detailed black and white illustrations with graphite and brush shadings to give it a realistic look. This striking contrast of colors and texture adds to the book’s quirkiness. The details on the artwork are pretty amazing! One can spend a great deal of time just enjoying this little book for its art work.

First published in 1940, this book is still accessible to children and adults today. We loved turning the pages to find out how this story would end!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


18 comments

line
  1. Interesting… Never heard of this book. Will try to grab one.

    #KidLit linky

    line
    • reshamad

      Fun little book Nishana! Thanks for stopping by.
      -Reshama

      line
  2. Katie

    How fantastic! Personally, I love children’s books that are a little bit bizarre. I glanced at the images before I started reading your post and they seemed so familiar, so when I read that the book was illustrated by Robert McCloskey it suddenly “clicked” for me. His illustrations have such a distinctive style that truly evoke the feeling of that era. Thanks for another stellar recommendation!

    line
    • reshamad

      Exactly! I too was curious by the art work and it was no surprise to find McCloskey’s name on it
      -Reshama

      line
  3. I’m a fan of “Blueberrys for Sal”, of course since I’m a Sal. Never heard of this Robert McCloskey title. Will be on the search for it now.

    line
    • reshamad

      Well then this one is definitely for you “Sal” Hope you get to give it a read!
      -Reshama

      line
  4. O Reshama, once again, the prize for the most unique book. I wonder if Aaron Blabey was inspired by this book for his Noah Dreary book. In that one, he complains so much his head falls off. The illustrations in this book are so fantastic. I can believe it was published in 1940 but the quality stands the test of time. Thanks so much for another awesome book recommendation on the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    line
    • reshamad

      Thanks for BYRB for re-publishing and literally saving such gems from falling off the radars! I love their collection and am always looking for more! Thanks for the kind words Julie.
      -Reshama

      line
  5. I have never heard of this book. Will have to look for it. I loved reading the Seven Chinese Brothers as a child.

    line
    • reshamad

      Me too. 7 Chinese Brothers is also one of the folk tales that are “bizarre” .. just like this one Thanks for stopping by Keitha.
      -Reshama

      line
  6. Just seeing the illustrations.. I want to read this book not just to my kids.

    line
    • reshamad

      ha ha! I am glad I got you excited about the book Kriss. Mission accomplished! thanks for stopping by!
      -Reshama

      line
  7. ccarpinello

    What a crazy storyline! Can’t believe it’s been around that long, and I haven’t heard of it. Thanks for sharing.

    line
  8. reshamad

    Some stories are truly timeless, I think this one fits the bill..
    -Reshama

    line
  9. This book sounds hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing it at Booknificent Thursday! I’m a huge McCloskey fan and will definitely be on the lookout for this one!
    Tina

    line
    • reshamad

      It sure is Tina. Its funny, witty and quirky all the same time!
      -Reshama

      line
  10. This one is super-interesting to me because the premise is so unique, but I have to say that I think if my daughter (at 5 years old, for example) had seen that picture of the man with no head, she would have had nightmares! She read the first book of “Harriet the Spy” and it has an unusual picture of a woman and that photo had her so scared she slept with us for the next 3 nights. I think it sounds hilarious, but I just know my daughter would have been terrified. Strange, huh? Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

    line
    • reshamad

      I can see why some little ones would be scared.. if it weren’t for McCloskey art work which adds a little “fun” element, I am sure this would be down right scary Thanks for sharing Renee. I hadn’t thought about the scary bit until you related the Harriet the spy incident. Now I know I need to approach that one with caution !
      -Reshama

      line

Leave a Reply