It's been a whole ten years since we first met Bob, the titular hero of Bartram's Man on the Moon.
For the uninitiated, Bob's a Dan Dare-esque spaceman-cum-caretaker who is convinced that aliens don't exist, despite the fact that they're lurking on every page. Suspiciously, even his 'dog' Barry has one eye on a stalk. There's been a whole series of Bob books between times, each one a colourful, eccentric delight. This time, when a huge mysterious tree sprouts from a moon crater overnight, Bob, true to form, dismisses all possibility of extra-terrestrial involvement. He keeps on dismissing it, even when the tree grows golden fruit which shoot off into the cosmos... But whatever can be inside them?
Bartram's painted illustrations are richly detailed and full of character, perfect for poring over. The story's wordier than the standard picture book, so it's not quite suitable for really tiny readers. But for older ones in the thrall of aliens, rockets and spacesuits, this is a gentle treat akin to a big mug of Horlicks. Particularly if – spoiler! - you're expecting the patter of tiny tentacles.