Chapter A Night: Mr. and Mrs. Bunny

Welcome to Chapter a Night

This season we’re reading Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire! By Mrs. Bunny, Translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Families interested in participating in the Chapter a Night program can register and receive a copy of the book to keep in the Youth Program Room beginning on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

This time we’ll be reading Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire! By Mrs. Bunny, Translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Sophia Blackall. We’ll have fun stuff to do on our website. We will finish the story together at the Final Chapter Party on October 29th at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Program Room.


Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire! By Mrs. Bunny, Translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

About the Author

Who is Polly Horvath?

According to an article in Contemporary Authors Online:

Children's author Polly Horvath's novels for middle-grade readers and young adults rely on ridiculous situations and slapstick action to achieve the humorous effect that has so delighted critics. Her protagonists are often precociously bright and outspoken young girls who provide a perspective on those around them that has been praised for challenging and enlightening young readers. Employing sophisticated wordplay, Horvath relies on exaggeration and the contrast between a high-flown narrative and ridiculous incidents to create the whimsical perspective that makes novels such as Everything on a Waffle, The Pepins and Their Problems, and The Vacation so popular.

Born in 1957, Horvath developed an early interest in telling stories. "I was eight when I started writing," she remarked on the Scholastic Web site. "I did all kinds of writing--novels, poetry, funny stories," she added, noting that in high school she was encouraged by an English teacher, who read all of her works, and a German teacher who provided her with an office in the school library. "I did have an agent for a while when I was in my teens," she recalled. "I didn't publish anything but it gave me a huge amount of experience writing and sending out manuscripts." Horvath later studied at the Canadian College of Dance in Toronto and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City, but also continued to write, supporting herself by teaching ballet classes. Her first published work, the middle-grade novel An Occasional Cow, took seven years to complete.



Notable Book selection, American Library Association (ALA), Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book designation, and National Book Award finalist, all for The Trolls; Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Book designation, 2001, and Newbery Medal Honor Book designation, ALA, White Raven Award, and Book of the Year for Children Award nomination, Canadian Library Association (CLA), all 2002, all for Everything on a Waffle; National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Best Books for Young Adults selection, ALA, and Young-Adult Book of the Year, CLA, all 2004, all for The Canning Season; Young-Adult Book of the Year shortlist, CLA, 2007, and Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize, both for The Corps of the Bare-boned Plane; Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature, 2010.


"Polly Horvath." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2013. Gale In Context,  accessed 24 Sept. 2019.

About the Illustrator

Who is Sophie Blackall?

According to an article in Contemporary Authors Online:


Sophie Blackall is an author and illustrator who predominantly illustrates children's books. On her home page, Blackall lists a variety of sources from which she draws illustration inspiration: "Japanese woodblocks. Chinese packaging design. Old photographs. Maps. Scientific diagrams. Jellyfish. Moby Dick. Iridescent feathers. Train journeys. Figs. Postage stamps," and other things.


Ezra Jack Keats Award for Ruby's Wish; Founder's Award, Society of Illustrators, and Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Award, both for Wild Boars; Top Ten Picture Books citation, New York Times, 2010, for Big Red Lollipop; honor book citation,

Horn Book, 2011, for Pecan Pie Baby; Randolph Caldecott Medal, 2016, for Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear; Randolph Caldecott Medal, 2019, for Hello, Lighthouse.

"Sophie Blackall." (MLA 8th Edition) Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2018. Gale In Context: Biography, accessed 24 Sept. 2019.


Now...The Book

What is this book about anyway?

I never thought you’d ask.

Here’s some information from the back cover of the paperback edition:

Madeline’s parents have gone missing. Her only clues? A note tacked on the fridge from someone called The Enemy, a file card covered in squiggly secret code, and dozens of red eyes staring out the blackened windows of a car she saw speeding down her driveway. And Madeline could swear the driver was a fox…

Luckily, Madeline encounters two bunnies who have decided to take up detective work (detectives get to wear fedoras!) and are willing to come to her aid – pro- bono. And if her parents’ kidnapers are foxes, who better than rabbit detectives to sniff them out?

Week 2: Make Something Together

In Chapter One of Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire! Madeline and her parents are preparing for Luminara. Mildred and Flo have created them and are hanging them in the garden. This holiday brings the community together with art. People travel from house to house to look at the Luminaries.

Share a craft with your family. Are there special holiday events for which you make a craft? Plan a crafting day. Clear off the kitchen table and get started.

You can make a simple luminary with an LED electric tea light and a paper bag. Make it as fancy as you like. This page has many ideas for using items you have at home to make a simple luminary. Or try this idea with a mason jar! You can find more design ideas on Pinterest or by searching online.

Week 3: Codes

In chapter 3 of the book Mr. and Mrs. Bunny Detectives Extraordinaire! The Grand Poobah tells Mildred and Flo about Fanny Fox. Fanny was a wonderful chef who finally gave permission for the mass production of her recipes. But the recipes are all written in code, and Fanny died! The only person who can help them is Uncle Runyon, the best code breaker in Canada! Mildred and Flo are no help. They never paid attention to details, but Madeline might know! So, the foxes have kidnapped Mildred and Flo to lure Madeline into telling them where Uncle Runyon is. Are you following me?

Codes are an amazing way to communicate in a secret language. Here are some ways to write codes. See if you can write one, and have another family member decipher it.

Write the alphabet on your paper in orange marker, then write it backwards directly underneath your orange letters in blue marker. To write your message, look at the top (orange) letters and write the bottom (blue) letters. To decipher it, find the letters on the bottom line, and write the corresponding letters from the top line. You can find more samples of code writing on this website.

Week 4: The Olde Spaghetti Factory

Do you like garlic bread as much as the marmots do? They love it so much that they have a hard time concentrating at the Olde Spaghetti Factory. They give away their secret hiding place for Madeline without even thinking twice! Is there any food that you love so much as they love the garlic bread? For me it’s pizza!

Make a dinner plan with your family. Start with your favorite food, and plan something delicious! Don’t forget to add healthy things like veggies and fruit.

Be sure to RSVP for the Final Chapter Party taking place on Tuesday, October 29. Call the library at 248-796-4240 to let me know you’re coming.