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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Polly Horvath translates Rabbit to bring us Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Extraordinaire! by Mrs. Bunny

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! by Mrs. Bunny translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Schwartz & Wade, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-375-86755-2 $16.99

Have you experienced that moment when you are reading a new book and suddenly wished you had a class of students in front of you so you could read aloud and share the rush of fun? Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! is such a book, simply hysterically fun and meant to be shared.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny book is deceptive! It is surprising! It is quick reading with lively banter and vocabulary that tickles your tongue. The cover is quite misleading. I was expecting a simple third or fourth grade chapter book featuring animals. Instead, I find plucky, practical fifth grader Madeline who possesses the skills to fend for herself and care for her hippie parents. This is an adventure story that happens to be divided not-so-neatly between human and animal characters.

Who could resist picking up a book with a letter on the back from “The Enemy” using the phrase “Mwa-haha?” I cannot resist reading aloud Mwa-haha. In fact, while I write now, my four dogs are staring at me wondering why I keep saying Mwa-haha yet aren’t causing any visible trouble.

Madeline and her parents live in Canada near Vancouver and Hornby Island. Of course, as all practical and plucky characters must be, Madeline is SMART and looks forward to Prince Charles’ presenting her three graduation awards. While she is diligently working to earn money to buy the shoes she needs for graduation, sinister forces – err… sinister foxes are at work. How do we find out? We read “Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Madeline, back at her house, sinister forces were at work.” Now that’s the kind of sentence we can inspire dreamers with.

Who are these sinister beings? Why, foxes, of course! When Madeline’s father Flo expresses his surprise that foxes are so commercial, the Grand Poobah replies, “Foxes are titans of industry! Have you never heard of Fox Studios? Fox Television? You didn’t think it was owned by hoomans, did you?”

Aha! This explains much of the evil doings of our world. The foxes are behind them. Of course, if I had been a bunny like Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, I would have known to beware foxes long ago. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny have recently moved from a mountain hutch to a new home in  Rabbitville in Cowichan Valley. Mrs. Bunny believes foxes “regard the houses in Rabbitville as a strip of fast-food joints.” and doesn’t “want to be someone’s Big Mac.”

When Madeline’s parents are kidnapped, Madeline needs a combination of animal and human helpers to survive. Since Mrs. Bunny is easily bored and they both look so dashing in fedoras, Mr and Mrs. Bunny have decided to become detectives. Soon Madeline and the Bunny’s join forces in this mystery adventure filled with slapstick moments and joyful banter.

You’ll have to pick up a copy of this wacky wonderful tale and share your joy with others. Be sure to read every bit of the last chapter. You won’t want to miss a moment of this extraordinary adventure.