The Man Who Lost His Head

by Claire Huchet Bishop and Robert McCloskey, 1942.  NY Review Book edition, 2009

To the Headless Section of the Curious Pages Library we add to our old edition, this new addition . . .

elegantly designed by Louise Fili.

Once upon a time there was a Man who lost his head begins this tale by Bishop (The Five Chinese Brothers) and McCloskey (Make Way for Ducklings).
The appeal of the text is that this affliction is never explained.

In an attempt to locate his head the unfortunate title character retraces his steps from the day before but comes up empty handed and empty headed. Even the Village People are of no help.

The Man dons a pumpkin head, a wooden head, even a parsnip head in the above Charles Burnsish-looking illustration.

Finally a "kind-hearted and very bright boy" has an idea. "Ready, sir?" he asks. "Why yes!" says the Man. "What on earth are you going to do?"
Punch him as hard as he can of course. When the sharp pain and stars clear, the man is back in his own bed with his own head. The end.