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Children's Fiction Mysteries & Detective Stories

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!

by (author) Polly Horvath

illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Feb 2012
Mysteries & Detective Stories, Rabbits
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


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 is one of the most highly acclaimed authors writing today. Her books include The Canning Season (winner of the National Book Award and the CLA Young Adult Book Award), Everything on a Waffle (a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book and winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize), The Trolls (a National Book Award finalist), My One Hundred Adventures (a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editors' Choice, a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year and winner of a NAPPA Gold Award and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize), and Northward to the Moon (an Oprah's Book Club Kids' Reading List selection and winner of a Parents' Choice Gold Award). Her most recent book is Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire!

Polly Horvath's profile page

LINDSAY MATTICK, Harry Colebourn’s great-granddaughter, is the vice-president of an award-winning public relations firm. Passionate about making a difference in her own backyard, Lindsay is a board member for several non-profit organizations including Timeraiser, Artbound and Help Tank. Based in Toronto, she has shared Harry and Winnie’s story around the world.

SOPHIE BLACKALL is the illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, including Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath, The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan and The Baby Tree. 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.


Sophie Blackall's profile page


  • 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

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


"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

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

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

. . . 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

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

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

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

Toronto Star

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

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

Thoughts from Mill Street Blog

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

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


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

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

Library Bound Inc

Librarian Reviews

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.

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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