Last week, Flavorwire published 10 of the Weirdest Children's Book Authors of All Time. It's a fun list and a nice reminder that there are some wickedly fun and interesting children's authors out there. I'd like to add to that list with the deliciously unusual Polly Horvath.
Mr and Mrs. Bunny-Detectives Extraordinaire! by Mrs. Bunny (translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath) and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Let's just take a moment and reflect on the wonderful genius of pairing Horvath with Blackall. Perfection.
Mysteries have been the buzz around our house lately. My husband and I shared Sherlock fever this past month.* It didn't escaped my 8 year old who read and loved this collection as well as this series which surprised me by being by Jennifer Holm! (thanks to our children's librarian Michelle for the recommendation on that series)
Like most of Horvath's novels, I know she isn't everyone's cup o tea. There's quite a bit of nonsense so readers without that sense of play and patience will likely not finish it. I easily put it down quite a bit myself. Examples? Okay, how about... Madeline's hippy irresponsible parents who insist on being called Mildred and Flo, Prince Charles coming to Madeline's school to present end-of-the-year awards, Craigslist, Google, Smart cars, The Olde Spaghetti Factory, knitting with used dental floss, Big Macs, Glade PlugIns, rabbits eating stir fry and mac & cheese, and a hundred other non sequiturs. Yes, yes, but get on with the mystery!
Like Madeline, I felt frustrated that she can't find her kidnapped parents. Stick with it, though, because it all turns out wonderful in the end.
Critics love this book. I would like to hear about children. My son narrowed his eyes at it and passed. He was also reading Order of the Phoenix at this time so it's hard to compete with that. Perhaps as a read aloud? I wonder at the book's broader possibilities with a narrator to help with the humor. Hm...
*Watch all 3 episodes for free on PBS until 6/19!