Monday, 10 March 2014
Review: Wings and Co - Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner
Publisher: Orion Children's
Released: October 4th, 2012
Emily Vole makes headline news in the first weeks of her life, when she is found in an abandoned hatbox in Stansted Airport. Then, only a few years later, her neighbour Mrs String dies leaving Emily a mysterious inheritance: an old shop, a small bunch of golden keys and a cat called Fidget. It's the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime as the old Fairy Detective Agency comes back to life. It is up to Emily to reopen the shop, and recall the fairies to duty. Together they must embark on their first mystery and do battle with their great fairy-snatching enemy, Harpella.
Operation Bunny is a fantastic start to my new favourite children's series. If you like Marcus Sedgwick's Raven Mysteries you'll love this, and that's really the highest praise I can give it. It's kooky, funny, addictive and completely magical - brilliant from start to finish.
Emily Vole is the star of the show, abandoned when she was a baby and adopted by Daisy and Ronald Dashwood. She spent her life being their housekeeper, until she makes friends with the elderly lady next door and her giant talking cat Fidget. After that, nothing is ever the same for Emily Vole, and instead she becomes involved in a world full of fairies, witches and pink fluffy bunnies. Not bad for a baby girl left in a hat box!
Sally Gardner's writing is great to read, so lovely and imaginative. She brings this unnatural selection of characters together, making them form friendships and change each other's lives. I really don't know where she came up with some of her ideas but I love them, especially the keys, spirit lamp and kitchen utensils. Seriously, if you ever wondered what a lamp with arms and legs would look like, then this is the book for you!
David Roberts illustrates this series and his work is just as important as the writing. It brings the world of Wings and Co to life through a series of black and white drawings perfectly suited to the story, and I'd happily sit and read a book dedicated to his artwork. The whole package is spellbinding and absolutely recommended for 8+ readers. I'm not sure whether I should say this or not, but I think this is Sally Gardner's best work to date!