Published by Corgi

When searching for this book to give to my customers, for reasons I have never worked out, I used to believe it was written by David Almond – perhaps because it is an almost whimsical tale with just a splash, a stain, of darkness in it. It is as different from The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas (possibly John Boyne’s most famous book), or The Boy at the Top of the Mountain as you can get – almost a fairy story. Those books I have to say are not like a fairy story, and some consideration should be given to whether it is the right time to read them. Different people read things at different times… This one though, as I said, has the flavour of a fairy story, and we all know how dark those can be….

Barnaby Brocket was a little different when he was born; he floated immediately to the ceiling, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. This condition results in his parents having to tie him to his chair, so he didn’t float a way, which would be inconvenient to say the least. When taken for walks, he bobs behind his mother, not unlike a balloon…

That though is not the terrible thing that is mentioned in the title…

The hardback had wonderful illustrations by Oliver Jeffers in it. He also illustrated the dust jacket. I don’t know whether the paper back has his pictures. I hope so. It is worth, though trying to find a hardback; even if you buy it second hand…so much better than the photograph on the cover of the paperback – which is a disappointment, I think.