4 out of 5 stars
I reviewed this book for the Rocky Mountain Book Awards
This is the second in the series and I have to admit to really disliking the first one. For some reason I found it extremely creepy that the girl’s parents were kidnapped by foxes and the illustrations just turned me off. This one I found hilarious and charming though.
Madeleine’s current life goal is to save enough money for college, since her hippie parents have a total of six dollars and some cents in their possession. The family receives a letter that they have inherited a candy store, but it is in England. Being the sensible and grounded people they are, Madeleine’s parents immediately uproot themselves to head overseas.
Luckily for Madeleine, Mr and Mrs Bunny have also decided to go to England. Mrs Bunny wants to become Queen and is convinced England is the only place to do that. Mr Bunny is sceptical but the promise of a lifetime of free carrot cake convinces him to humour her. They simultaneously plan to become royalty and help Madeleine afford college.
The main draw of this book is the language. Polly Horvath is a master of humour in the way she presents her characters, world, and dialogue. It is all funny in a very dry British way. If parents are looking for a book to read to their kids, this would be a really good choice. It has enough action to appeal to kids but parents should giggle their way through this as well. It is flat out funny, especially the relationship between Mr and Mrs Bunny. She is working on her next novel and Mr Bunny, mad at not being given enough credit, keeps scribbling suggestions into her notebook. For a kids book, it represents a married couple in a very good way: not always perfect and sometimes quarrelsome, but loving when it gets down to it.
Just like The Summer We Saved The Bees, Madeleine is shackled to a pair of ridiculous parents. I don’t know how this is apparently a Canadian book trope but it seems to be. If there are many more of these this year I just have to conclude my having sensible parents was a fluke.