Sunday, January 12, 2014
Mr and Mrs Bunny - detectives extraordinaire by Mrs Bunny translated by Polly Horvath illustrated by Sophie Blackall
I am welcoming myself back to my blog after a little absence by talking about Mr and Mrs Bunny - detectives extraordinaire which is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time - not slap stick funny just genuinely witty. I think the cover shows this will be a terrific book- written by Mrs Bunny herself and translated by the talented Polly Horvath.
Madeline lives in Canada on a small island east of Vancouver Island. This should be idyllic but her parents are hippies who have lost touch with reality and so the management of their day to day life has fallen on the shoulders of young Madeline. "She became very good at cooking and cleaning and sewing and bookkeeping and minor house-hold repairs. She was the one who changed the lightbulbs. When only ten she got herself a waitress job part-time at the Happy Goat Cafe."
The plot of this book is so wild and zany it is hard to explain. Madeline heads off to school on day, making the long trip to Vancouver Island because she does not want to be homeschooled. Meanwhile Mr and Mrs Bunny (who live alone now that their litter of twelve rabbits have grown up and moved far away. "The closest one was in Australia." ) have decided to move to a new house. Mr Bunny has found the perfect new house with furniture and even a shiny red Smart car. Meanwhile four foxes have arrived at Madeline's house because they have a code that needs to be deciphered. Flo and Mildred have a cousin in Ottawa who is an expert at codes. The foxes need his address. Sadly Flo and Mildred are so absent minded they have no idea about this. Madeline would know but she is at school so the foxes kidnap these hapless parents and leave a ransom note. Now this madcap adventure moves into full swing. Madeline finds the note, heads off to talk to her uncle but he is in a coma, she bumps into Mr and Mrs Bunny who just that morning have bought some smart fedora's so they can follow their new passion as detectives.
Throughout this book there are very clever references to modern life such as :
"We speak Fox, Marmot, Bird,' said Mrs Bunny. 'You know, the Romance languages. All bunnies learn those in grade school. Later we might pick up a little Bear. Some Groundhog and a touch of Prairie Dog.' 'Highly esoteric,' sniffed Mrs Bunny. 'And impractical. I keep telling him he should take a course in Squirrel."
"He paused so long one of the councilbunnies went out for coffee. One had time to order a short decaf double shot no whip mocha iced frappuccino to go. ... he had time to change his mind to a venti semi skim soy no sugar caramel macchiato with no whip but double caramel and a reduced-fat skinny poppy seed and lemon muffin, hot, no butter."
"Mrs Bunny paled. She had been found out! She wasn't an urbane bunny after all. She was just another country bunny who had lived on the outskirts of a human town. There was no lower status amongst bunnies."
Here is the author web site which includes some review extracts. Here is a sixty second book review. I would give this book five out of five stars - rush into your library today!
The sequel has just been published Mr and Mrs Bunny - almost royalty and I hope to buy myself a copy this week.