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9781554981809_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $14.95
also available: eBook
published: Feb 2012

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!

by Polly Horvath, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

reviews: 2
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mysteries & detective stories, rabbits
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $14.95
also available: eBook
published: Feb 2012

Shortlisted for the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award and selected as an OLA Best Bet for 2012

Madeline's parents have gone missing. Her only clues? A note tacked on the fridge from someone called The Enemy, a file card covered in a squiggly secret code, and dozens of red eyes staring out the blackened windows of a car she saw speeding down her driveway. And Madeline could swear the driver was a fox . . .

Luckily, Madeline encounters two bunnies who have decided to take up detective work (detectives get to wear fedoras) and are willing to come to her aid -- pro bono. And if her parents' kidnappers are foxes, who better than rabbit detectives to sniff them out?

Together, Madeline and Mr. and Mrs. Bunny confront evil foxes, a marmot named The Marmot, and the dreaded Bunny Council to solve the Case of the Missing Parents. Here is a madcap, hilarious romp that is also a touching story about family and trust. Written by Mrs. Bunny,* translated from the Rabbit by multi-award-winning author Polly Horvath, and beautifully illustrated by Sophie Blackall, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! is a book that kids will both laugh over and love.

* Mrs. Bunny lives in Rabbitville in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She is married to Mr. Bunny and has twelve children. This is her first book.

About the Authors

Polly Horvath

Author profile page >

Sophie Blackall is the illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, including Finding Winnie, for which she received the Caldecott Medal, one of the most prestigious children’s book awards in the world. Her artwork has also appeared in murals as part of the New York City MTA’s “Arts for Transit” program. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Polly Horvath has written many outstanding books for children, including The Canning Season (National Book Award, CLA Young Adult Book Award); Everything on a Waffle (Newbery Honor Book, ALA Notable Book, Mr. Christie’s Book Award, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize); The Corps of the Bare-boned Plane (Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize); The Vacation (Child Magazine Best Book Award, Chocolate Lily Award); My One Hundred Adventures (NAPPA Gold Award, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, Parents’ Choice Gold Award) and Northward to the Moon (Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize Finalist, Oprah’s Reading List). She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.Sophie Blackall received the Ezra Jack Keats Award for New Talent. She is the illustrator of Big Red Lollipop, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Meet Wild Boars, a Bulletin Blue Ribbon selection; Summer Is Summer; Edwin Speaks Up; and others. A native of Australia, she now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
9 to 12
4 to 7
Reading age:
9 to 12
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award
  • Commended, OLA Best Bet
Editorial Reviews

Forget logic, the real fun here is in the detours, dead-ends and dangling clues that destroy all literary conventions.

— The Washington Post

"Energetic pacing, witty prose, and snappy dialogue . . . coalesce in what is hopefully the first of many escapades for these unforgetable, bumbling would-be sleuths."

— Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

This is a marvellous romp through a witty and sophisticated story that is irresistible.


Sophie Blackall’s illustrations are charming and really capture the spirit of this wonderful book. "...is a very funny book, and author Polly Horvath adds a lot of witty details."

— Kidsreads.com

. . . this is a romp.

— The Horn Book Magazine, STARRED REVIEW

"...a rollicking read-aloud chapter book mystery, fun for the whole family. And you’ll never look at a marmot in quite the same way again."

— Northwest Book Lovers

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny-Detectives Extraordinaire is a hilarious mystery full of expected characters like detective bunnies, disreputable foxes, and a garlic loving marmot.

— Sharon the Librarian

Quite amusing….[her stories] give younger readers something they can readily grasp and enjoy.

— The New York Times Book Review

The strength of Horvath's newest book are characters and language.

— King County Library System

Hilarious, wickedly clever and completely nutty. And thoughtful and wondrous as well. Highly recommended!

— Toronto Star

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny’s bickering is priceless.

— Library Bound Inc

"Horvath remains a talented author and this book has potential for future bunny detective stories."

— Thoughts from Mill Street Blog

An instant classic, with a contemporary resonance and a tone of yesteryear, fairly begging to be read aloud.


The Bunny's are extremely entertaining, and adults in particular will appreciate the comical banter between them. Polly Horvath does comedy extremely well, and the satire is extremely clever. Some of the jokes might go over the heads of child readers, but there is plenty about this book that will endear it to them.

— Rachel's Reading Timbits

Hilarious . . . begs for a sequel

— New York Daily News

Award-winning author Polly Horvath sets up a perfectly preposterous premise and a romping pace that will keep readers hooked.

— James Patterson’s Readkiddoread.com

Sweet as a chocolate egg, this is the perfect book to share with your entire family—or better still, sneak away and devour it on your own: you won’t be disappointed.

— Bolen Books March Newsletter

" Mr. and Mrs. Bunny is a wild romp through a country side of quirky animals, kooky parents and a loving pair of rabbit detectives. "

— ChicoER.com

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!

As Madeline returns home at the beginning of Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!, she thinks she sees a car driven away by red-eyed foxes. Her parents have been kidnapped, there is a note from the “Enemy,” and she finds a coded file card. The foxes expect her parents to reveal the whereabouts of Madeline’s Uncle Runyon, a renowned decoder. Once the code is broken, they can begin to manufacture Fanny Fox’s Canned Rabbit Products.

Madeline is 12 and definitely frustrated by her vague, hippy, antiestablishment parents who make jewellery, play music and organize Luminara events. Madeline, by contrast, is organized, motivated, hardworking, a good student and very serious. She refuses home schooling, preferring to rise at 5:00 AM to make a long journey to a school where she can get a proper education. Despite her youth, she is in fact the “adult” of her family, providing structure and organization for her oblivious parents. Despite their differing values, she loves her parents and loses no time in leaping into action to rescue them.

By chance she meets Mr. and Mrs. Bunny who are new to the area. Their 12 children have left home, and they are now free to embark on a new career as detectives, complete with their own car and new fedoras. Since Madeline can understand their rabbit language, she forms an alliance with them and they set about tracing her parents in a hilarious, hit-or-miss manner. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny also decide to adopt her as a pet, despite the fact she has such a big bottom, which is hard to fit into their accommodation.

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny themselves are a mass of bunny contradictions — nurturing, dizzy, intuitive, practical, outspoken, logical and illogical simultaneously. Hilarious observations, puns and unlikely comparisons issue from their mouths constantly, and the dialogue will make both children and adults groan and roar with laughter.

“Translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath,” Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, illustrated with delightful complementary pictures, is quite the funniest of this quartet of great reads — with not just one but three outstanding characters. While Madeline is our child heroine, taking a stand to rescue her feckless parents from the clutches of foxes, her very definite character is equalled by two charming anthropomorphic rabbit detectives. They have their own logic and their own laid-back way of looking at life and are a perfect foil for Madeline’s serious nature. This is a marvellous romp through a witty and sophisticated story that is irresistible.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2012. Volume 35 No. 3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!

Madeline’s parents have gone missing, and she thinks they’ve been taken by foxes. Luckily, Madeline meets two bunnies who do detective work and are willing to help her out. Together, Madeline and Mr. and Mrs. Bunny confront evil foxes, The Marmot and the dreaded Bunny Council in their search for Madeline’s missing parents.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

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