Operation Bunny: The First Case
Operation Bunny
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Sally Gardner, illus. by David Roberts
ISBN 9780805098921
Holt/Macmillan, 2014.
4 stars
Keywords: adventure fairies mystery operation-first-case sally-gardner

Operation Bunny: The First Case
by Sally Gardner, illus. by David Roberts

This first book in the Wings & Co. series from Sally Gardner (I, Coriander) shares an irreverence with Roald Dahl's books and features a human hero's quest to free some down-to-earth fairies.

Emily Vole, left as a baby in a hatbox in London Sansted Airport, is adopted by Daisy and Ronald Dashwood, a wealthy couple interested only in meeting their own needs. When they discover that they are able to have children (triplets, in fact), they make Emily their Cinderella. A kind neighbor, Miss String, and her oversize cat, Fidget, take Emily under their wing, secretly teaching her to read, write and speak fluent French, German and Old English. It turns out that Miss String is a fairy, and Fidget is a magician cursed by a witch named Harpella, once scorned by a fairy and making all fairies pay for her abandonment. Emily is chosen as Keeper of the Keys, instrumental to the fairy world's liberation--but that makes her Harpella's instant enemy.

Humor and adventure abound, as the blond, blue-eyed Dashwood triplets get their souls stripped and trapped in a lamp by Harpella, and Emily enlists her "ex-adoptive-mother-slash-employer" in her plan to defeat the witch (aka "Operation Bunny," to reverse the effects of Harpella turning Emily's fellow train passengers into bunnies). With its brief chapters and David Roberts's abundant drawings (not to be missed--his portraits of Harpella and Wings & Co., a detective shop on legs formerly run by fairy folk), Operation Bunny is just right for children newly graduated from transitional readers.

This review first appeared in
Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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