A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Polly Horvath's Lord and Lady Bunny -- Almost Royalty!, the sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny -- Detectives Extraordinaire!, follows in the same tradition of hysterically funny, warm-hearted, wildly improbable adventure (not only does Prince Charles make another cameo appearance, our heroes also encounter J.K. Rowling, dubbed "Oldwhatshername"). Once again the Bunnys and 10-year-old Madeline are the mature ones, and here they're worried about the college fund her flaky parents haven't started for her. Unlikely circumstances and comic misunderstandings soon take the entire cast of characters to England. Madeline's parents are cartoonishly hippie-dippie and prone to Cosmic Muffin-type proclamations, but there are no explicit drug references. There are no explicit references to Harry Potter, either, but kids who know the series will be in hysterics over the discussions of Oldwhatshername. U.S. readers will gain some insight into the Canadian experience as the British Columbian characters venture from their comfortable homes in search of adventure and riches. Characters, especially the Bunnys, are sometimes in cartoonish peril (notably from a villainous ship's employee bent on throwing them overboard), but everyone escapes unscathed, and all's well that ends well.
What's the story?
Barely two weeks after the events of Mr. and Mrs. Bunny -- Detectives Extraordinaire!, Mrs. Bunny decides they need a new adventure and, after a bit of thought, decides that she really wants to be queen. Also, since success depends on talking the current monarch into the idea, the Bunnys are soon en route to England to seek Elizabeth II. So, to their annoyance, is their neighborhood nemesis, Mrs. Treaclebunny. So, unbeknownst to the Bunnys, are their friend and surrogate daughter (despite the species difference), Madeline, her BFF Katherine, and Madeline's space-cadet parents, who have inherited a sweet shoppe (candy store) in England. Improbable adventures, some involving royalty and other famous persons, ensue.
Is it any good?
Author Polly Horvath brings more over-the-top (in a good way) wackiness in this book. Mrs. Bunny chases her dream of being queen, Madeline frets about college, and former flower children Flo and Mildred display unexpected qualities. The plot wends its way through transatlantic ocean liners, country fetes, family castles, and village bookstores, leading to ridiculous, if ultimately satisfying, developments. Sophie Blackall's black-and-white illustrations bring the characters to comical life.
One of the book's great charms is Horvath's dialogue, in which a character's speech bounces from, for example, Jane Austen to Sylvester Stallone. " 'Mr. Bunny, how you do run on. And if you wanted to be listed as a coauthor, why did you not say so before the book was published?' 'I was waiting for the reviews,' said Mr. Bunny. 'No guts, no glory,' said Mrs. Bunny, and settled back comfortably into her pillows."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about stories that feature talking animals interacting with people. What do you think is the appeal of this type of story? How are the animals here like the ones you've encountered in real life, and how are they more like people?
Have you ever been to an author's book signing? What was the book, and how did you like the event? Did anything about it surprise you?
Have you been to British Columbia, where Madeline and the Bunnys live? How did you like it? How was it different from the place you live?
- Author: Polly Horvath
- Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
- Genre: Humor
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Book Characters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
- Publication date: February 11, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.