CM . . .
. Volume XVIII Number 29. . . .March 30, 2012
Polly Horvath's latest book features 12-year-old Madeline, a practical, super-responsible girl who has the misfortune to be the offspring of totally impractical and nearly irresponsible parents. The hippy pair had started off in San Francisco, migrated north and settled down to making a living by playing music and making jewelry on Hornby Island. In eschewing home-schooling (even though she must get up at 5 am, take two ferries and a bus to get to a real school) it appears that daughter Madeline has fallen a long way from the parental tree:
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire! is a wonderfully funny book which manages to satirize almost every new age value dear to the folks living on Hornby. Horvath's plot moves at a dizzying pace, beginning with the mysterious disappearance of Madeline's parents and a mysterious note on the fridge signed "The Enemy." Could the kidnappers really be a gang of foxes? And why are they so desperate to find Madeline's Uncle Runyon, a renowned Canadian decoder scientist? Answers to the above questions (and many more) are revealed as the race to find the missing parents picks up steam. A chance meeting of Madeline (who fortunately has the gift of understanding and speaking animal languages) with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny occurs, thereby enabling the newly minted fedora-wearing rabbit detectives to take over the investigation. What follows will not disappoint fans of Polly Horvath. Adult readers will find much to chuckle, and even to laugh out loud about as they read Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire! The cover, featuring the author of the book as "Mrs. Bunny" and the work "translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath" gives readers a fair warning as to the absurd literary ramble that they are in for. Although the book is suggested as suitable for ages 8 to 12, the author's sly, sophisticated wit may provide more enjoyment if it is shared with an adult reader. Sophie Blackall's simple black and white drawings convey the tone of Horvath's rollicking slap-stick text perfectly.
A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen resides in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.