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Month in review

Reviews
Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu
Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir by Nicole J. Georges
Charlie and Lola: My Best, Best Friend by Lauren Child and Carol Noble
Day of Doom by David Baldacci
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
Finch's Fortune by Mazo de la Roche
Five, Six, Seven, Nate! by Tim Federle
The Ghost Prison by Joseph Delaney
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan
Grandma's Gift by Eric Velasquez
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis
Here She Is, Ms Teeny-Wonderful by Martyn Godfrey
Hey! Who Stole the Toilet? by Nancy E. Krulik
How to Be a Cat by Nikki McClure
I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke
Line 135 by Germano Zullo
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath
Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
Regards to the Man in the Moon by Ezra Jack Keats
Scribble by Deborah Freedman
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if You Want to Survive the School Bus by John Grandits
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful by Shane Koyczan
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
Your Food Is Fooling You by David A. Kessler
Zak's Lunch by Margie Palatini
Zen Attitude by Sujata Massey

Miscellaneous
Not Every Book Gets a Review
One star ratings are short hand for DNF

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!: 05/15/15

cover art

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath is the story of a pair of rabbits who end up saving Canada from cyber terrorists and rescuing a girl's parents from kidnappers. Meanwhile, all the girl wants to do is save up enough money for white shoes in time for Prince Charles's visit to her school. Instead, though, her parents are missing, her uncle's in a coma and she has to work with two very strange rabbits to put everything to rights!

Polly Horvath's books always have a very strong sense of place. Like the Everything on a Waffle books, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! is set on and near Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island is the largest of a group of islands to the west of Vancouver city and to the north of Port Angeles, Washington. It is only accessible via water or air; there are no bridges! Madeline and her family happen to live on one of the outlier islands, Hornby, but she goes to public school in Nanaimo (a city on the northeast side of the island). I've included a Google map with instructions on how to get from Hornby to Nanaimo, and they comport with Madeline's own description early on in the book.

On the outskirts of Cumberland (near where Madeline's ferry lands) Mr. and Mrs. Bunny have moved into their new home in a rabbit city. Why Cumberland — well, it's the home of the Marmot Recovery Centre's Cormox Valley Visitor's Centre. And marmots (and foxes) play a role in mischief that will unite the Bunnies and Madeline.

Horvath's books are usually incredibly Canadian but this one is excessively so, and does for Vancouver Island what L.M. Montgomery's books do for Prince Edward Island, Laura Ingalls Wilder's books do for De Smet, South Dakota, or Beverly Cleary's books do for Portland, Oregon. Take for instance, Madeline's parents, Flo and Mildred, are ex-hippies from California. If they're ex-hippies, chances are they're from the Bay Area.

Seems far fetched? Nope. Completely possible. Our one night out on the town for a fancy meal in Victoria (the capital of British Columbia) our waiter asks us where we're from. We tell him we're on a car trip from the Bay Area and he goes to explain how he was born in Santa Clara but raised here. I think of his story every time I think of Madeline's. Though I suspect her parents are more trying on a day to day basis than his were!

The final piece in this equation is an uncle who is one of Canada's top cryptologists. The foxes have come across a key piece of information for running a rabbit flavored food chain but it's in code. Knowing that the best de-coder lives in the area, they decide to kidnap his family to force them to divulge his address. There's just two small problems: their mastery of human English isn't so hot and Flo and Mildred have no clue where he lives (their minds long since rotted by their alternative lifestyle).

What follows is a ridiculous mash up of a typical girl's mystery series and a typical animal fantasy story. Think Nancy Drew teaming up with the animals from The Wind in the Willows. Along with that mashup is threaded some very strong opinions on the monarchy, on parenting, on feminism, commercialism, and the environment.

Five stars

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Comment #1: Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 04:11:13

Nicola Mansfield

Wow! I have a couple of Horvath's books but have never got around to reading her. You make me want to rush out and get this one! Or at least finally read one I do have ...



Comment #2: Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 10:43:41

Pussreboots

You should start with the ones you have. They're all delightful.