This is one of the silliest books I’ve ever read. And silly is good, right? I think silly is good.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, by Polly Horvath, is set on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia (just a few miles west of us–and Ms. Horvath lives on Vancouver Island, too). It’s about a fifth-grade girl named Madeline who has hippies for parents and lives on a small island. She takes a ferry and a bus everyday so she can go to a normal school on Vancouver Island, rather than be home schooled by her crazy parents. Sound silly yet? No? Just wait… OK. Here we go.
Madeline’s parents are kidnapped by a group of foxes who have taught themselves English and can drive cars. Suddenly all alone, Madeline heads for her uncle’s house. While there, her uncle falls into a coma and she meets Mr. & Mrs. Bunny, who have just moved to the area and have decided to become detectives. To qualify themselves as detectives, they purchase fedoras (those are sort of detectivish hats). Madeline soon finds that she can understand animal language, and the quest to rescue her parents begins.
So the plot is silly, yes? Yes. But it’s great. I found the book to be really funny, especially the dialogue involving Mr. and Mrs. Bunny. They jabber away incessantly, and their statements are often silly nonsense that nevertheless seem to fit.
I think in this review I also want to educate you a little bit on what it is to be “campy.” If I was describing this book to an adult, I’d say it was “campy.” There are a variety of definitions for this word, some of which I don’t really agree with, but here’s what it means to me: Intentionally, overly silly.
There are lots of television shows and movies that are campy. They are super silly, and are purposely that way. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. To me, the story still has to be great. A poor story told in a campy way is still a poor story.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny is great because it is a fun and engaging story. The fact that it is so incredibly silly is just a bonus (for me, at least…I like silly). If you’re looking for silly fun, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny would be an excellent choice.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny–Detectives Extraordinaire!
By Polly Horvath
Genre: Fantasy, talking animals, detectives
On shelves February 14, 2012.