Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Book Review: A Bunny Caper

The bulk of my reading is middle grade, YA, and adult, but getting the galleys for Polly Horvath's Mr. and Mrs Bunny--Detectives Extraordinaire! made my week, and I'm not even exaggerating. I haven't howled through a book this way since David Sedaris's Naked. And to think it was a chapter book that left me gasping! Mr. and Mrs. Bunny is targeting two completely different demographics, I suspect: seven- to ten-year-olds, and the adults reading to them. The book is due out February 2012, but you can pre-order it now from Amazon. Do it now so you don't forget.

The under-ten crowd might miss the satire (New Age parents and chain restaurants come in for a lot of goosing; and couples will recognize themselves in the happily married, if long-suffering, Bunnies). But the non-stop silliness is equal opportunity fun. Madeline's parents have been kidnapped by foxes running a rabbit by-products factory; she hires Mr. and Mrs. Bunny to track them down. Half the joke is that Mr. and Mrs. Bunny--who wear fedoras and drive a Smart car--are kindly but incompetent. When a very stupid marmot (named The Marmot) is added to the mix the tangles increase exponentially.

The Marmot Question
Just how stupid is that marmot? Well, for starters, he uses a card printed with a precious secret code to wipe his bottom, then flushes it down the toilet. Horvath knows how to take a good joke and keep drawing it out. The Marmot asks Madeline to call him "The," his first name, but Madeline finds this impossibly confusing. "Listen," she says, "can I call you something else? Don't you have a nickname?"

"My Mother sometimes called me her Special Precious," said The Marmot.
"I don't think I could do that," said Madeline, shuddering.
"Look, just let her call you Mr. Marmot," said Mr. Bunny.
"How about Poindexter?" said the Marmot.
"Why Poindexter?" asked Madeline.
"Please do not ask him questions. Please. We'll be here all night. When it comes to marmots, give orders," said Mr. Bunny.

The problem of what to call The Marmot goes on for pages, getting progressively crazier. All the while Madeline's annoying parents, who have brains the size of mung beans, are having an insane conversation of their own with a fox called Grand Poobah. They're tied up back to back in the by-products factory, and Madeline's dad believes--wrongly--that he's getting the hang of speaking fox. Zakszokeyid! Little do they know the foxes are planning to have finger food for dinner that night. Can you guess what the main ingredient is?

The illustrations by Sophie Blackall are charming.Among her twelve previous kids books, Horvath has picked up a National Book Award and a Newberry Honor; I can see why. I plan to go back and read them all.


  1. Hi, Gail! Good stuff here.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    I gave you a Shout-Out today! :)

  2. LOL. Sounds great. I will have to check it out. :)

  3. Great review, Gail. Looks like a pretty humorous read.

  4. Ha! Sounds great! And I stand by my claim that great PB writing is some of the hardest writing of all! Thanks for the rec!

    p.s. *waves* from a fellow campaigner :)

  5. Great to meet a fellow MG writer! I'm from the campaign. Glad to be your latest follower :)

  6. Sounds awesome. Added it to my TBR list!

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse