________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 33 . . . . April 25, 2014


Lord and Lady Bunny - Almost Royalty!

Polly Horvath. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books, 2014.
293 pp., trade pbk. & ePub, $14.95 (pbk.), $12.95 (ePub).
ISBN 978-1-55498-362-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55498-363-6 (ePub).

Subject Heading:
Rabbits-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Val Nielsen.

**** /4


The Bunny team is back in action again. and Mrs. Bunny has a plan! It is two weeks since their last adventure ended, and it's time for a new career. Mr. Bunny (ever agreeable, especially when eating Mrs. B`s famous carrot cake) has been guessing what his wife is about to announce...

"I give up," said Mr. Bunny taking another big bite.

"I want to be Queen!" squealed Mrs. Bunny.

Mr. Bunny swallowed. "I hope you are kidding."

"Why would I kid about such a thing?" asked Mrs. Bunny somewhat testily...I've been thinking about it ever since I saw Prince Charles give out the awards at Madeline's school. How well he deported himself. What a charming man. I'm a charming bunny. I should be royal."

"Look Mrs. Bunny, I have indulged your various ventures in the past, worn fedoras, chased about after secret decoders, but I will be darned if I'm going to put on a crown."

"Who said anything about you? Indeed, I had envisioned you more as a footman," said Mrs. Bunny reflectively.

      Over on Hornby Island, Madeline has a new friend, Katherine, who has a college education fund--something that Madeline has never even heard of! Of course, her in-the-now believer parents, Flo and Mildred, would never think of helping Madeline set up such a fund since, between them, they have only six dollars and twenty seven cents. Madeline is, of course, undeterred in her determination to set up a college education fund. When Madeline's flaky parents unexpectedly inherit a sweet shoppe (inconveniently located in the town of Bellyflop, England) from an uncle, the scene is set for Horvath's Lord and Lady Bunny--Almost Royalty! featuring Madeline and the Bunny pair.

      What a pleasant surprise for Madeline and Mr. and Mrs. Bunny to re-discover each other on board a trans-Atlantic cruise ship as they make their way to England! What follows is a wacky set of adventures involving hedgehogs of dubious lineage, the re-appearance of Uncle Runyon and the ever-annoying Mrs. Treaclebunny. While Mr. Bunny follows his dream of treading the boards in Stratford, Mrs. Bunny attends a book-signing for Mr. and Mrs. Bunny--Detectives Extraordinaire! where she has a meeting with the translator who lets slip that she has been invited for lunch with the queen.

"But that's so unfair," said Mrs. Bunny. " I was the one who wrote that. And in the book it is I who says flattering things about Prince Charles, not you. What kind of dolt would attribute it to the translator?"

      With the appearance of beloved fantasy writer "Oldwhatshername" as a competitor at the book signing event, things are not going Mrs. Bunny's way. However, Horvath's fans will not be disappointed in the hilarious series of wacky happenings that end with Mr. and Mrs. Bunny being knighted by Prince Charles and with Madeline and Katherine entering junior high looking forward to the next unexpected turn of events.

      For Polly Horvath's many fans (those would be young people with a sophisticated sense of humour and an appreciation of irony) Lord and Lady Bunny--Almost Royalty! will be an enjoyable read. For children nine or under, many of Horvath's sly digs at the foibles of our society will go unnoticed and unappreciated. Clever and appealing black and white ink drawings by Sophie Blackall, who also illustrated Ms. Horvath's first Mr. and Mrs. Bunny book, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinaire! will entertain and amuse readers of all ages.

      Elementary and junior high libraries should be sure to purchase Lord and Lady Bunny--Almost Royalty! to go with Horvath's first "translation" and to order the first one immediately if they have by any chance missed it!

Highly Recommended.

A retired teacher-librarian, Valerie Nielsen lives in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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