Operation Bunny - Wings & Co by Sally Gardner
|Operation Bunny - Wings & Co by Sally Gardner|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: A delightfully quirky and amusing story in which a plucky heroine, a talking cat with attitude and a grumpy detective join forces to save the fairies. This is a jolly tale that will appeal to newly independent readers.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: October 2012|
|Publisher: Orion Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Emily Vole very nearly enters this world with a bang; abandoned at Stanstead Airport in a hatbox that is mistaken for an explosive device she only just escapes being blown up by the bomb disposal squad. After this inauspicious beginning things briefly improve for Emily when she is adopted by a wealthy couple, Daisy and Ronald Dashwood, who have no children of their own. However, the couple soon tire of their little girl and following the birth of Daisy Dashwood’s triplet daughters poor Emily is relegated to the role of a servant who is banished to the laundry room and forced to sleep on the ironing board. Life is miserable for Emily until one day she meets her kindly next door neighbour Miss String and her talking cat, Fidget. Through her new friends Emily discovers that there really is such a thing as magic and she soon find herself thrust into an exciting adventure she could never have anticipated.
Following a tragedy Emily discovers that she has inherited an abandoned shop, become the guardian of a set of magic keys and is being chased by a fairy-hating witch. With the help of the practical and very amusing Fidget and two detectives, the grumpy Buster and sensible James Cardwell, Emily is determined to solve the mystery of Operation Bunny. The first in a new series by award winning author Sally Gardner this magical story is great fun. There are some lovely characters including the feisty Emily, Fidget the slightly superior talking cat and Miss String, who could be described as a sort of Fairy Godmother character. Inevitably, especially at the start of the book, the story feels a little like a modern Cinderella and the pantomime feel of two of the baddies, the Dashwoods, adds to this.
There is a dark edge to the plot which is reminiscent of Dahl’s books and I think that children enjoy this. In addition any story where a downtrodden child triumphs over unappealing adults always appeals to young readers. Emily is likeable and Fidget is laugh out loud funny in places. The author includes several modern references, for example Mr Dashwood is a hedge fund manager and his credit-card munching wife has strawberry blonde hair extensions, and this gives the book a very contemporary feel. The wonderful spiky ink illustrations by David Roberts add to the enjoyment of the book and those of the witch are particularly scary.
This book is a very enjoyable read and I think that the quirky style of both the content and the writing will be very appealing to newly independent readers. It could be read aloud successfully to younger readers too. I am looking forward to reading the second in the series.
This book reminded me a little of Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell another slightly bizarre tale of a little girl and her unusual companion solving a mystery. If Operation Bunny gives you the taste for books featuring talking animals I would recommend the charming Wolfie by Emma Barnes
You can read more book reviews or buy Operation Bunny - Wings & Co by Sally Gardner at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Operation Bunny - Wings & Co by Sally Gardner at Amazon.com.
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