Sunday 14 February 2016

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Walker Books)
HC RRP $19.99
ISBN 9780763665135

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This is the second book about the double life and adventures of Princess Magnolia, aka the Princess in Black, and her trusty unicorn steed Frimplepants, aka Blacky.

Filled with excitement at the array of food to be found at brunch with Princess Sneezewort, Princess Magnolia and Frimplepants are dreadfully disappointed when the glitter-stone ring gives out the monster alarm. But nothing takes priority over a challenging battle with monsters!

Duff the goat boy is in trouble. His paddock is invaded by bunnies which have exited the underground where monsters dwell. They are eating the grass which his goats need to graze. Princess Magnolia sees no threat, only cute little bunnies until they devour all the grass, then the trees, then everything in sight. Hordes of them appear and seem to increase.

What can be done? Can the Princess in Black draw on her strategies when fighting monsters to end the cute bunny attack before everything is eaten, including the Princess herself? Or will it be the courageous and resourceful Blacky who finds the answer?

The extraordinary call-outs the Princess in Black and Blacky face will appeal to many younger readers. Some will love the bits about the bunnies having to eat lizard scales, toe nails and monster fur. But the visual aspect of the book alone will win and keep its readers following what happens next. This chapter book series has stunning illustrations and is presented with a magnificent jacket. This is what will initially draw attention to it on the shelf. Ideal for 6+ readers.

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