Reader Reviewed Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner

Operation Bunny

Written by Sally Gardner
Illustrated by David Roberts
Part of the The Fairy Detective Agency Series

7+ readers   Books of the Month   Audio Books   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A brand new quirky detective series called WINGS & Co. brimming with humour, mystery and magic by million-copy selling author Sally Gardner and illustrated by David Roberts. Operation Bunny is the first case for the Fairy Detective Agency and with the help of a talking cat called Fidget and a grumpy fairy detective called Buster, it's up to Emily Vole to get to the bottom of Operation Bunny. It's a series that 7+ year olds shouldn't be missing.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Nadine Kelly , age 11, St. Colm’s High School, Draperstown, Northern Ireland - 'This story is really exciting.  It is beautifully illustrated and I loved the nice short chapters...I look forward to more stories by Sally Gardner, she is such a good author.' Read full review >
  • Erica Motoc, age 7 - 'The book is very good so I could not take my eyes of the words...I like the story because of its funniness. I think the author took a long time to write and out the work it out.' Read full review >
  • James Wood, age 7 - 'I've read some of Sally Gardner's other books, such as the boy with the lightning feet, and this one is really good too. It is a good and interesting story with some very funny bits.' Read full review >
  • Iris Pritchard-Williams, age 8 - 'I think the story was very exciting, I thought the writer of Operation Bunny had a good imagination because there was made up stuff, that was really amazing.' Read full review >
  • Raspberry, age 6 - 'I recommend this book to people who like magic and solving mysteries.' Read full review >
  • Grace Phelan, age 7 - 'An exciting book that makes you want to be a detective yourself when you grow up.' Read full review >
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 10 - 'Funny, magical and exciting, Operation Bunny is a great story that would appeal to all fans of the weird and wonderful!' Read full review >
  • Cait Galbraith, age 8 - 'A thrilling fairytale about fairies, bunnies and cats. I would highly recommend this book.' Read full review >
  • Amisha McCrystal, age 12  - St. Colm's High School - 'a magical book full of wonderful things, such as, bunnies, moving houses, fairies, large talking cats and a pair of mischievous keys...I would definitely read another Sally Gardner novel.' Read full review >
  • Alisha Boyce, age 10 - 'I like this book because it`s got my favourite animal in, BUNNYS and they are all pink which is my favourite Colour.  It`s a good and exciting book.' Read full review >
  • Caroline Randall (mum to Lauren)- 'silly language but an overly laborious story line that did not capture her attention.' Read full review >


Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner

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.


A delightful heroine and a cast of quirky characters, a good dollop of magic, lots of humour and a fast-moving plot, you have the perfect recipe for a hugely entertaining family story session -- Marilyn Brocklehurst * Books for Keeps * exciting story that is filled with wacky characters. It's ideal for pre-teens who want to start reading long, chapter books, with or without a little help from mum and dad at bedtime. * Madhouse Family Reviews Blog * I enjoyed it because it was funny and imaginative. The pictures were fantastically detailed and the story itself was very engaging. I would recommend this book to girls aged 7-10 for reading on their own and 5-7 for it to be read by parents. -- Abigail Wetton, aged 9 * * I love Sally's original take on life and language, both of which shine through here. The illustrations by David Roberts are marvellous and make this book doubly desirable. -- Maudie Smith * * Operation Bunny has got what it takes to become a classic * DAILY EXPRESS * Punctuated by David Roberts's chaotic, enjoyable illustrations, Sally Gardner's Operation Bunny... is fun, quirky and imaginative ... With shades of Roald Dahl's Matilda, this is a marvellous, wild ride for eight- to 10-year-olds. -- Viv Groskop * THE OBSERVER * One of our featured books last issue but so due another mention as a wackily surreal magical story with stunning illustrations ... Bonkers but brilliant, we love it! * TBK MAGAZINE * ...such a charming story; with tons of quirky details, plenty of whimsy but also some looming darkness in both the real and magical world, Gardner offers us a story of exquisite quality ... Roberts is such a talented, unusual artist. * LIBRARY MICE * A fine story to read aloud -- Nicolette Jones * SUNDAY TIMES * David Roberts's spooky illustrations have a Goreyesque detail that is perfect. The poignancy of Emily's plight is offset by a buoyancy that counters the acid wit with which her world is described ... this brims with quirky charm reminiscent of Eva Ibbotson, Joan Aiken and early JK Rowling. -- Amanda Craig * THE TIMES * Sally Gardner brings to [the book] a great plot and her trademark quirky humour ... a rollercoaster - we're very much looking forward to the second. * ABC MAGAZINE * this is classic young fiction at its best * BETH KEMP * a must for any junior school library * LIBRARYZONE * I love this book so much ... It is an enchanting book ... If you like mind-boggling adventures filled with brilliant illustrations and strange talking animals, then do not hesitate to pick up this brilliant book. * GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S BOOKS * Operation Bunny has Sally Gardner's usual humour, charm, pace and overall feeling of whimsy which will spellbind young readers. Operation Bunny is a beautifully written, original story complemented perfectly by David Roberts's quirky illustrations. * LOVELY TREEZ READS * This quirky story from Sally Gardner is packed with magic, humour and imagination, as well as a touch of Roald Dahl-esque darkness. Young readers will be charmed by resourceful heroine Emily and her sidekick Fidget ... David Roberts's entertaining illustrations are the perfect match for Gardner's pleasingly eccentric text. This first instalment of the Wings & Co series is great fun and is sure to delight newly independent readers. * BOOKTRUST * ...a delight * SERENDIPITY REVIEWS * Sally Gardner is on sparkling form * DULWICH BOOKS REVIEW * Wonderful stuff * JE TOWEY * ...plenty of excitement, laughter, and yes, sparkling magic throughout, this first book in a new detective series for yuong readers is a delight * PLAYING BY THE BOOK * ...this story will carry you away from reality into a world of enchantment and adventure ... a quirky and entertaining read. Emily Vole is an adorable and likable heroine and this is a story spiced with secrets and magic which will appeal hugely to younger readers. * A DREAM OF BOOKS * ...a story that will make you laugh, give you some wonderful twists and when blended with the fantastical takes you into a world of its own ... a book that I really can't recommend enough ... Great stuff. * TATTY'S TREASURE CHEST * A delightfully quirky and amusing story * THE BOOKBAG * This is a marvellously inventive, comic tale which subverts our expectations of fairys and fairy tales. There is plenty of play on words and the wry humour is compounded by the dark, sly edge of the wonderful illustrations of David Roberts ... great fun. * WE LOVE THIS BOOK * ...a fantastic story that had me laughing out loud in places. The characters are wonderful and diverse ... I didn't want the story to end. Gardner has vividly brought to life a magical world of talking cats and colourful bunnies. I can't wait to read the next installment! * BOOKBABBLERS * Young readers will be thrilled when they enter Emily Vole's magical world * Ni4KIDS * This fun, magical story will delight young readers ... Highly recommended * BOOKAPOET * Magic and mystery with a generous sprinkling of humour make this a great read for 7+. David Roberts

! * PARENTS IN TOUCH * absolute cracker. Gardner writes with a delirious wit, sketching out intriguing characters and doling out jokes and pathos in exactly the right measure. * FINANCIAL TIMES * I normally don't read stories involving magic but this one I couldn't put down! I would recommend this book to children who like adventure and powerful magic stories. My book rating is an epic 10/10! -- Eloise, 9 years * ANORAK * This story has a wonderfully contemporary feel to it. The language is modern and the pace of the story is fast and exciting. Yet there is also a very Dahl-esque darkness o the tale ... Operation Bunny has all the magic ingredients for a perfect children's novel ... I really enjoyed this kooky story. It was fun and endearing. The illustrations were brilliantly entertaining ... Operation Bunny is a quirky tale full of imagination. I highly recommend it. I'm sure it will become a favourite amoung newly fluent readers. * THE BOOKETTE * ...I love it! It's cute, funny and bizarrely believable. I found myself loving every character, even the baddies! The illustrations really add to the effect of this story. Each page bursts with adventure, following the intrepid Emily as she becomes an awesome detective. -- Georgia, aged 12 * BOOKS AND WRITERS JNR * For mystery solving with a magical twist, you'll love Wings & Co ... Quirky, fun and totally charming, this is a magical mystery series. * TBK MAGAZINE * You don't have to be a child to enjoy a children's book. Thank goodness, because there are some really brilliant ones out there at the moment and ... Operation Bunny is no exception. ...Thought provoking and lots of fun. * NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE * There's mystery, magic, humour and adventure in this quirky new series set in a fairy detective agency. Perfect for young fans of all things magical who want a more challenging story. * THE BOOKSELLER * Young readers will be captivated by the idea that magic is just beneath the surface of everyday life in gardner's new series about a fairy detective agency. Huge fun. -- Fiona Noble * THE BOOKSELLER * This is a funny and exciting story with memorable characters and great illustrations from the brilliant David Roberts that should be popular with young readers. -- Clare Poole * THE BOOKSELLER * Brims with quirky carm * The Guardian * An absolute cracker. Gardner writes with a delirious wit, sketching out intriguing characters and doling out jokes and pathos in exactly the right measure. * Financial Times * I love this book so much * The Guardian * Quirky, fun and totally charming ... a wackily surreal magical story with stunning illustrations * TBK * Intriguing and inventive ... Gardner's writing has in impressive lightness of touch and lots of subtle humour * School Librarian * A delightful, funny tale from the great Sally Gardner ... The sense of an unjust adult world is reminiscent of Roald Dahl's work and equally as intelligently witty * Families Online * A rib-tickling twist on the perennial theme of the ill-used orphan * eViews * A funny, quirky, modern fairy story * BFK Books * A must for any junior school library ... with a wicked sense of humour * Reading Zone * Perfectly pitched ... spiked with the kind of wit and social comment that will have parents chuckling over their children's shoulders. Something completely out of the ordinary * Books For Keeps * Brimming with humour, mystery and magic * Lovereading4kids * Fun, quirky and imaginative * The Observer *

About the Author

Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist from London. Her books have been translated into 22 languages and have sold more than one million copies in the UK.

Her historical novel for older readers, I, Coriander, won the Smarties Children's Book Prize in 2005. Two thrillers both set at the time of the French Revolution, The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 2009, followed. Actor Dominic West (The Wire) has bought the film rights to both titles.

Her YA novel, The Double Shadow, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim. Sally Gardner's stories for middle readers include Lucy Willow and the popular Magical Children series of six titles: The Strongest Girl in the World, The Invisible Boy, The Boy with Magic Numbers, The Smallest Girl in the World, The Boy with the Lightning Feet, and The Boy who could Fly, which are also available as audio books. She has also written and illustrated picture books including The Fairy Catalogue, The Glass Heart, The Book of Princesses and Playtime Rhymes. Sally Gardner continues to be an avid spokesperson for dyslexia, working to change the way it is perceived by society. She is dyslexic and argues that it is not a disability, but a gift.

If you'd love to know more about Sally, click here to download a more detailed biography and Q&A.

To see a video of Sally talking about her book Fairy Shopping - CLICK HERE

Or watch a video of her talking about The Silver Blade:

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Book Info


192 pages


Sally Gardner
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Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

4th October 2012




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