Monday, April 23, 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire! translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath

I seek out translated fiction because I like encountering newness -- different perspectives and styles, that sort of thing -- but this is the first time I've read something translated from Rabbit. The author, Mrs. Bunny, decided on a whim (and a hankering to wear a fedora) that she and her husband should become detectives. Their very first case was to help a girl named Madeline to find her parents.

Madeline's parents are hippies and they live on Hornby Island, British Columbia. "As nature often has it, they had a child who did not want to join them in their all-day pursuit of enlightenment and a better mung bean. Instead, she became very good at cooking and cleaning and sewing and bookkeeping and minor household repairs. She was the one who changed the lightbulbs. When only ten, she got herself a waitress job part-time at the Happy Goat Cafe."

"All the other children on Hornby were homeschooled, but Madeline preferred to get up at five every morning and walk to the harbour, where she took a ferry to Denman Island, the bus across Denman, the ferry to Vancouver Island and then the bus that took her to a real school. She had made the decision to do this when she entered Grade 5 and was finally old enough to make the trip without help. This earned her the reputation for being eccentric, but the happy hippies of Hornby were tolerant of Madeline, if a little wary."

So anyway, some evil foxes kidnap Madeline's parents and Mr. and Mrs. Bunny bumble their way to a rescue. It is highly amusing. (And the pace really hops along!)

Polly Horvath has done a fine job of translating this lively tale which is illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Grade 3 and up.

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