|The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show by Mini Grey|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Exciting and funny, magical and silly, and a pair of very naughty bunnies...what's not to like?!|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: June 2017|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK|
|External links: Author's website|
In a slight change to the scheduling, the Great Hypno is unavailable for tonight's magic show...but not to worry, ready to step into the breach are Mr Abra and Mr Cadabra, a pair of innocent looking bunnies. Their show promises to be fast and dangerous, and it certainly turns out to be both, though perhaps not quite in the way the bunnies imagined!
Mini Grey seems to design and create her picture books a little bit differently. The humour often works more for older children and adults, though at the same time, my little boy has requested his Traction Man stories on repeat and enjoys it on a different level. Here this time with some mischievous bunnies there is the same humour, and a lift the flap book that feels very different to the usual lift the flap peekaboo nonsense! Here the flaps are half overlapped pages, or partially cut off page edges, and they are used cleverly throughout to enhance the story. The curved or zig-zag edges add to the magical moment occurring on the page, and the flaps to lift encourage the feelings of suspense and surprise that you get at a magic show.
The story itself is a simple one, with a magician's bunnies having locked him up in a cabinet and taken over his magic show. Of course, all of their tricks turn out a little differently than they hope, with a goldfish being transformed into an enormous octopus and the knife throwing act being a little more dangerous than they'd intended! All ends well, however, as the sawn-in-half lady, Brenda, manages to free the magician in time for him to fire the two naughty bunnies from a cannon, just before they were about to hypnotise and rob the whole audience! (No bunnies are harmed during this story!) They're left to clean up the stage, bandaged and chastened, although perhaps they haven't quite learned their lesson as we see on the final page. It's pure, silly fun, and it's a delight to read aloud with its many variations on 'Hey Presto!' that encourage a loud stage voice when reading out loud.
The illustrations are entertaining throughout. The bunnies are especially good whenever they're looking a bit shocked or surprised! I liked looking out for things going on in the background too, such as the octopus reaching a tentacle around the curtain to steal one of the knives from the knife throwing act, to try and unlock the real magician from his case! It doesn't quite get a perfect score from me, but only because on my first read through to my little boy I had no idea what was going on, and occasionally turned more than one page by accident, so then we really didn't know what was happening! I think this was partly just some new book stiffness with the pages, but then I did also find with the Traction Man stories that I had to have a read through by myself before I could figure out their tone and rhythm to then be able to read them aloud. Otherwise this is a funny book, that's a very entertaining read and has lots of bits you can shout out loud!
Further reading suggestion: You might also enjoy Life is Magic by Meg McLaren and a perennial favourite in our house, Winnie's Amazing Pumpkin by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show by Mini Grey at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Bad Bunnies' Magic Show by Mini Grey at Amazon.com.
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