Monday, June 14, 2021

#IMWAYR/MMGM: Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!

I have another bunny book for you today! I can’t believe how long it took me to discover Polly Horvath, but if the rest of her work is like this enchanting chapter book, I have a new favorite author!

Not only is this a mystery, it’s hilarious, and it includes bunnies (of course!) But it’s also set on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands in the Puget Sound, near where I grew up. My husband and I went to the Gulf Islands on our honeymoon. They are rustic and beautiful—and I’ll never forget seeing a pod of Orca whales a few feet from our kayaks.

But on to this fabulous story.

Synopsis from Amazon:

In this hilarious chapter book mystery, meet a girl whose parents have been kidnapped by disreputable foxes, and a pair of detectives that also happen to be bunnies! When Madeline gets home from school one afternoon to discover that her parents have gone missing, she sets off to find them. So begins a once-in-a-lifetime adventure involving a cast of unforgettable characters. There's Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who drive a smart car, wear fedoras, and hate marmots; the Marmot, who loves garlic bread and is a brilliant translator; and many others. Translated from the Rabbit by Newbery Honor-winning author Polly Horvath, and beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Sophie Blackall, here is a book that kids will both laugh over and love.

"National Book Award-winner Polly Horvath's latest, a rabbity romp complete with whimsical illustrations and a quirky cast of characters, has both the look and feel of a classic children's book," raves The Washington Post.

What I liked:

1. A girl who’s smarter than her parents. Oh, this kind of character is one of my favorites! Think Matilda or Gladys Gatsby from All Four Stars. Madeleine is a regular kid and very practical, but her ex-hippie parents are rather clueless at times.

2. Animals that have defined personalities! Mr. Bunny thinks making car noises will start a car. Mrs. Bunny is the straight man for his jokes and wants to adopt poor Madeleine. Then there’s the marmot who likes to be called “The.” And many more!

3.  Unique mystery plot: In most mysteries, the reader is trying to piece together the clues to figure out what happened. In this book, due to multiple POV, the reader knows what happened, but the suspense is whether these rabbits, who think being a detective means wearing a fedora, can rescue Madeleine’s parents.

4.  Canadian setting: This book is infused with the atmosphere of the Gulf Islands. I also liked the importance placed on Prince Charles’ visit and how different characters viewed this event. This was clearly a Canadian story.

5. Lyrical, humorous writing: This book reminded of the Roald Dahl books I loved as a child. It’s rare to find a children’s book that doesn’t take itself seriously and understands how children think. Horvath has a firm grasp on what makes kids and adults laugh.

And there’s a sequel, which I currently have on order. Lord and Lady Bunny—Almost Royalty!

What books have you loved lately?

 If you'd like to read more middle grade reviews or join in the MMGM fun, go to Greg Pattridge's Always in the Middle blog. 


  1. I don't usually like stories that feature animals, but I'm intrigued because of the mysteries. It sounds like a cute series that kids will enjoy.

  2. As a former rabbit keeper I enjoy reading these bunny centered books. Thanks for featuring on MMGM. I'm currently reading a dog book (LUNA HOWLS AT THE MOON) but most of my reading this summer will be people focused.

  3. Children's books should never take themselves too seriously.

  4. I like Polly Horvath's books, too, but this is a new one to me! Thank you!

  5. It reminds me of stories I read as a child! I love the setting and the animal detectives solving a mystery. What a fun chapter book. Think my niece would enjoy this one!

  6. This sounds like such a fun story! You're right, it does sound reminiscent of some of the Roald Dahl books. And I'm glad you keep finding fun books with animal protagonists! Thanks so much for the great review!

  7. Sadly, I'm not yet familiar with Polly Horvath's work. And that's saying a lot since I see she's been publishing since the 80s. I'm adding this to my list and I see we have a local copy, so YAY! I'm glad to see you enjoyed it enough to order the next book in the series! :) Thanks for sharing, Jenni, and I hope you have a fantastic reading week.

  8. I have only read a couple of Horvath's books, but I really like what I've read. This one looks super fun. Bunny detectives. How cute is that? Thanks for the heads up. I'll look for this one.

  9. Oh, I love Polly Horvath, ever since I read Everything on a Waffle. Love the local setting, too: are you still in this neck of the woods? (IE: the most beautiful part of the planet?!)

  10. Jenni, this sounds like so much fun! At first I didn’t like Polly Horvath, but once I got used to her style I really enjoyed all the humor in her writing. This looks like another entertaining story!

  11. Sounds like a fun book. I'm intrigued by plot including Prince Charles showing up!!

  12. That cover illustration screams chuckle-chuckle snort. Gotta read this one. Thanks for the review.