Book Review: Mr. and Mrs. Bunny-Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny-Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath is a children's chapter book with much more to it than I expected from the cover. There are two story lines in the beginning, that intersect and continue in unexpected ways. Madeline is a responsible young girl being raised by two free spirited parents, in an equally free spirited town. One night Madeline comes home from work to discover her parents have been kidnapped. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny are moving to a new home, that has been vacated under mysterious circumstances. To alleviate boredom Mrs. Bunny has decided they should become detectives, which turns out to be a good choice when they meet Madeline, who has sought help from her uncle. As the story continues, it gets funnier and more interesting with quirky characters and beautiful illustrations from Sophie Blackall.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny-Detectives Extraordinaire is a hilarious mystery full of expected characters like detective bunnies, disreputable foxes, and a garlic loving marmot. I liked the fact that Madeline was smart and self reliant, and thought it was even better that the bunny couple wanted to take care of her. She is a practical girl that seems to be raising her parents. The entire island she lives on seems to look at her as the strange one, because she is responsible. The bunny community is equally odd. The kidnapping and the search for Madeline's parents draws in a slew of eccentric characters, like the brilliant code breaking but odd uncle, scatterbrained marmot, hat loving bunnies, and a nuisance of a neighbor. The bunny couple is well-meaning and many parents might see some aspects of their own relationships in the bunny interactions. The entire effect is fun and highly entertaining.

I recommend Mr. and Mrs. Bunny-Detectives Extraordinaire! For seven to twelve year-old’s, and the adults that might read to or with them. Teachers, parents, and anyone that enjoys children's literature will also enjoy this book. There is something fun and entertaining for both distinct levels of readers, and I am looking forward to further exploring the work of Polly Horvath and Sophie Blackall.
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