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The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm Paperback – 1 Apr 1947

33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (1 April 1947)
  • ISBN-10: 014034716X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140347166
  • Product Dimensions: 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,864,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A triumph of child-friendly chaos" (Irish Examiner) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A wonderful children's classic, complete with original W. Heath Robinson illustrations throughout and now brought to the sceen in a feature length BBC film starring Harry Hill. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ian Spencer on 3 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Professor Branestawm was a classic on a par with (and of the same era as) Winnie the Pooh: these are funny short stories of the Professor who is brilliant, eccentric and forgetful. He inventions always work, but usually are fatally flawed. Set in the 1930s, he occupies his bachelor pad with Mrs Flittersnoop the housemaid who usually gets the wrong end of a bad experience of one of his inventions. Highlights are stories such as "The Too-Many Professors" where an elixir of life brings photographic characters out of the pictures, including a picture of the one-year old professor wearing nothing but a smile, half a policeman saying "Pass along p..." and generally far too many professors charging around.

The best thing about the book are the "seventy-six" illustrations by W Heath Robinson - he of rickety machine fame which make the book and perfectly complement the wildly imaginative stories. Wonderful for reading to the children (as an excuse to re-read them yourself).
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By K. Clayden on 4 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this book together with another Professor Branestawm book, for my two older grandsons (8 and 7) at Christmas. Both are allowed time before 'lights out' to read in bed and when saying goodnight to the 7 year old saw him tucking into a chapter or two with relish. This is a second generation thing - our daughters both read and enjoyed these books 30 years ago and. I think, watched dramatisations on TV. Despite having been written a good few years ago, they still stand up today. My grandsons also love Captain Underpants (what boy wouldn't) and these books are just as crazily amusing.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
This book appeals to 8 to 11 year olds with an interest in home spun technology and foreseeable disasters. Fans of the Chuckle Brothers will recognise the genre. The inventions and science are broadly based in reality, but never actually work. My rather serious 9 year old giggles non-stop at the antics. Our favourite stories include the chemical which makes photogaphs come to life resulting in multiple Professor Branestawms of various ages from baby upward and one where the Professor loses a library book and tours the area's librarys... Great Fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By eppingstrider on 22 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love the theory of Professor Branestawm – the nutty professor who gets into all sorts of scrapes when his inventions go wrong. The inventions, brought to life so beautifully by Heath Robinson, more or less lived up to my expectations. I don’t know whether I’m a little jaded, or I really have lost my humour mojo, but I found some of the stories mildly amusing, more of them irritating, and a couple, just a couple, had me laughing out loud.

There are 14 Incredible Adventures, and I laughed at the Pancake one (partly because I love pancakes and would have loved a machine making them for me – so would my mum, I reckon) and the Too-many Professors, which was a wonderful confection of chaos I could really imagine. I also delighted in no.3 The Professor Borrows a Book. I suspect the intricacies of the library system described would be lost on today’s youngster, since libraries are under threat, and the thought of each village having its own library with scores of rarely-requested books is just a pipe-dream. But the Professor’s principle of getting a copy of the same book out of one library in order to check it back into a different one is not unlike the way some people use credit cards, so I expect people will relate to it.

I kept wondering whether the book is too dated for the modern young reader. I was surprised that it is given a 9+ reader designation, since I felt the stories were ideal for six and upwards. Some of the words are quite long, and there is a lot of reflective narrative that is eminently suitable for a bedtime story, but I’m not sure how well it would be tackled by a young reader.

The quote from Charlie Higson on the front cover “Can still make a modern kid laugh like a drain” is something I bear in mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First published in 1933 this book and others by Norman Hunter have kept children entertained for years, and I think many grown-ups can still remember reading of Professor Branestawm. Of course although Branestawm is the major character the stories wouldn’t be as good without his housekeeper, Mrs Flittersnoop, and his friend Colonel Dedshott.

There is an active table of contents here which you may find quite useful because although some incidents are mentioned in later stories here this is really a book of short stories. If your child has never read any Branestawm stories before then this is an ideal introduction, especially if they enjoyed the Christmas special which was on the BBC late last year. Branestawm makes Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit) look quite normal by comparison as he comes up with inventions that although created with good intentions always seem to cause chaos and damage.

As we follow Branestawm here we see the kind of troubles he gets into, and those that he causes other people. Whether he is creating a device to capture burglars, a pancake making machine or something to help with spring cleaning, things always seem to go awry, indeed whatever Branestawm touches has unforeseen consequences, including just going on holiday and attending a party.

As Branestawm manages to go from one comic mishap to another he pulls others in as well, and not just his housekeeper and the colonel, giving children a lot of comic misadventures to enjoy. This book is also brought alive by Heath Robinson’s great illustrations, especially those of the inventions of the madcap professor. This is great for children to read or even have read to them, as well as still entertaining and diverting enough for us adults, whether you have read any of the stories before or not.
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