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Operation Bunny: The Fairy Detective Agency's First Case
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Operation Bunny: The Fairy Detective Agency's First Case (Wings & Co #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  425 ratings  ·  115 reviews
When Emily Vole inherits an abandoned shop, she discovers a magical world she never knew existed. And a fairy-hating witch, a mischievous set of golden keys, and a train full of brightly colored bunnies are just a few of the surprises that come with it.

With the help of a talking cat called Fidget and a grumpy fairy detective called Buster, it is up to Emily to save the fai
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published October 1st 2012)
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Beth Kemp
Magic, mysteries and a resilient heroine - fab start to a new series for 7+

Sally Gardner is so great! I've never been disappointed with one of her books, and this quirky magical tale is no different. With shades of Roald Dahl and Eva Ibbotson, this is classic young fiction at its best.

As the first book in a new series, it lays the groundwork for the future, showing how the wonderful cat Fidget and little Emily Vole on the book cover come to be working together at a Fairy Detective Agency. The go
This book is really adorable. I'd definitely recommend it to kiddos who want to read hilarious magical mystery books!

Coming up is a discussion totally off-topic of the book so I'm going to hide it in a spoiler alert and anyone who is fond of talking about language and political correctness can continue on!

(view spoiler)
Jill Stark
Intermediate: Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner (2014 in the United States) Independent reading.
Mya, who is interested in mysteries, fantasies, and humorous books should really like this one. It even has a talking cat, too! This was the second intermediate book that I read, and it was my favorite. This is the first book in a series, and took a little bit of time to set up the background to the story, but once it got going, I enjoyed it. I think, if I were younger that I would have liked this boo
I have read and enjoyed many of Sally Gardner's novels including those targeted at the Young Adult market. I'm delighted to see her return her attentions to the 8-12 age group as my children loved her Magical Children Series.

This is the first in a series of books about Wings & Co, a fairy detective agency resurrected by Emily Vole, a young girl who has had a lot to deal with in her short life so far - abandoned as a baby at Stansted Airport in a hat box, adopted by emotionally challenged wan
Emily Vole is a foundling adopted by Ronald and Daisy Dashwood, who five years later "had to admit that Emily Vole wasn't exactly what she had had in mind when she'd made her one and only wish" for a child. After all, she had dark eyes and dark hair and looked nothing like the Dashwoods (oh no!). Her "adoptive parents" require Emily to sleep in the laundry room on an ironing board and has never allowed Emily to attend school or learn how to read. When social services start sniffing around, the D ...more
Ms. Yingling
Emily Vole is found abandoned at a train station in a hatbox, and the Dashwoods, a Yuppie couple who want a child, adopt her. When she doesn't turn out to be the blonde, perfect child they want, they treat her as a servant, especially after their own triplets are born and go into commercial acting. Emily takes care of the house and children and is not educated or loved at all, until neighbor Miss String sees her out hanging laundry. Miss String and her talking (once human) cat, Fidget, step in t ...more
I loved Operation Bunny. I loved it so much more than I thought I would. I loved it because it was just fun. Emily Vole, the heroine, was abandoned as an infant. She was left in a hatbox. She was adopted soon after she was found. (At first, authorities thought she was a bomb. That is they thought the hatbox contained a bomb.) But her adopted parents are truly awful which is somewhat typical in fantasy novels for children! As I was reading, I was reminded again and again of The Willoughbys by Loi ...more
Sharon Tyler
Operation Bunny is the first book in the Wings & Co series by Sally Gardner. This children's chapter book begins on a quirky note, and continues in that vein. Emily Vole makes headline news in the first weeks of her life, when she is found in an abandoned hatbox in Stansted Airport. she is adopted by a vain and greedy couple that had always wanted children, but did not get quite what they expected with Emily. When their own children are born things become even worse for Emily, only to discov ...more
Amy Musser
Emily Vole’s life isn’t exactly easy. For starters her adopted parents, the Dashwoods, are really more like employers. Really demanding and heartless employers. She was enjoying her friendship with her next door neighbor Miss String and her giant talking cat Fidget, but then the evil Harpella showed up and started during people into zombies, and rabbits, and who knows what she’ll do next! To top it all off, Emily is the new Keeper of the Keys and the fate of all the fairies lies on her shoulder ...more
After the birth of their triplet daughters, Emily Vole's adoptive parents see her only as a source of free labor. Emily cleans, tends to endless piles of dirty clothes, cares for the triplets, and sleeps on an ironing board in the laundry room. The only bright spot in Emily's life is the quirky neighbor (Miss String) and her talking cat (Fidget), who help Emily with her chores and teach her to read, write, do math, and speak three languages. When Miss String dies in an unfortunate (and slightly ...more
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

Emily Vole was not the adopted daughter the Dashwood’s hoped for. With her dark eyes and dark hair, she looks nothing like them! When triplets unexpectedly enter the Dashwood’s life when Emily is five, Emily is shifted from adopted daughter, to unpaid servant. Never taught to read or write, Emily is nonetheless clever and curious, and this leads her to a friendship with the “old bat” next door, Miss String. Along with her overlarge, bipedal cat named Fidget, Miss St
Allison Campbell

This is the first book in the WINGS & CO series about a fairy detective agency, and Lilah and I both enjoyed it. Poor Emily Vole is abandoned as an infant and adopted by self-absorbed parents who turn her into a servant when they discover they can (and do) have children of their own. Fortunately, she has elderly neighbor Mrs. String and her extraordinary cat to pull her out of her Cinderella story and into a spirited adventure, inheriting a set of magi
Sep 27, 2015 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, feminists and cat lovers
This was a fun read. We have talking cats who keep coming up with new clean ejaculations, all cat oriented of course. We have a Cinderella style orphan who takes care of herself. There are fairies who have lost their wings to the bad witch. Very bad witch! Who turn victims into either zombies or somewhat talking bunnies....they can only say the last sentence they said before transformation. This was lively reading and is the start of a series. We need more intelligently silly books in our life!
Penny McGill
Wow. This book is packed with all the very best stuff - orphans, cruel step-parents, witches, spells fairies, mean little boys, talking cats (hooray!) and a strange mystery to solve. It's called "Operation Bunny" for very good reason and once you get to the part of the book where Sally Gardner starts to describe the bunnies you are in for some desperately funny scenes. Be prepared. We still talk about those moments because they are that special kind of funny that stays with you forever and becom ...more
Operation Bunny is a sweet little novel for younger readers that is sure to enchant and thrill. I wouldn’t call the novel middle grade literature as the tone and content are far younger than anything on the market for middle graders right now but it would be a perfect fit for kids from grades five to ten. The novel is about Emily Vole, a little girl with mysterious origins, who is adopted by a horrible yuppie family who value plastic far more than nature. The novel tells her adventures as she es ...more
A Cozy book young readers will enjoy while they cozy up in front of a fire -- the first book in a charming new series about a fairy detective agency.

Full Review:

This is the first in a series of books that sets the stage for a fairy detective agency.

Emily Vole is discovered as a baby in a hatbox, which was previously believed to contain an explosive device. As luck would have it, she began crying and thankfully was saved before the bomb d
Poor Emily Vole! After being left in an airport as a baby, she was adopted by a wealthy, childless couple, the Dashwoods. But alas, she was not the blonde, blue-eyed, perfect child that they wanted, and when Mrs. Dashwood discovers that she is expecting triplets, Emily is "demoted" from daughter to the family maid. Living in the basement, unable to attend school, and faced with mounds of laundry and household chores, Emily's life seems rather grim and hopeless. Then a chance meeting with her ecc ...more
Ampersand Canada's Book & Gift Agency Inc
This middle grade novel is about a little girl adopted by a couple who are having trouble having children of their own. When they become the parents of triplets, Emily Vole is made into a virtual slave. Luckily she inherits a magic shop (not a Magic Shop) and gets pulled into a world she didn’t know existed. There is an evil witch whose mandate is to kill every fairy she can and if humans got in her way she would change them into small pink rabbits who could talk (only one or two sentences, over ...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
Adorableness oozes out of this book in great gooey globs. It is a delightful book for young readers. If your kids are too young for Harry Potter, then try this series. It has a lot of the same themes without being so dark. It's perfect for just starting to read middle grade fiction.

Emily Vole gets adopted by some horrendous people who make her a family slave until their neighbor dies and leaves Emily a large inheritance. Emily decides to run away and try to defeat the witch Harpella before she m
Lori Cox
Emily Vole was left abandoned in a hatbox at an airport. The Dashwoods adopted her but Emily never fit in with them. When the Dashwoods have triplets, Emily is regulated to servant status and sleeps in the laundry room. The odd next-door neighbor befriends Emily and teaches her to read, do math, and speak French….. and about the world of magic. Emily and Fidget (a human size talking cat) end up dealing with pink bunnies, an evil witch and a secret magical shop. She learns to specialize in magic ...more
A very cute VERY BRITISH fantasy detective series opener that will delight kids looking for a bit of whimsy and a bit of the odd in their reads. Emily Vole's story starts off very much like Cinderella, initially taken in by a well to do family and reduced to a servant in her own home when her adopted parents have their own biological children. After she meets her odd neighbor and her talking cat, everything changes for Emily. A world full of extremely tall witches with orange platform shoes, for ...more
Apr 28, 2014 Martha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alice, Librariansteph, Marti, Elissa, Nadine
This enchanting adventure of a resourceful young girl, her nasty adoptive parents, conniving evil witch, and magical cat spins into a brilliant tale. Even though David Roberts' masterful illustrations give this book a whimsical childlike quality that enhances the story tremendously, this is a book for a more sophisticated reader. One who can appreciate the power of dancing keys, train conductors who turn into bunnies, and stores that have clawed feet, and can move about. This tale will appeal to ...more
Oh my goodness how in love with this book am I? Operation Bunny has been sitting on my shelf for a few months and I picked it up one Sunday only to fall head over heels… and not just a little. After the first paragraph there was no going back.

I adored the world Sally Gardner created. You have wonderful characters. Like Emily, who after being left in a hatbox at the airport is adopted. While her new parents-slash-employers leave much to be desired but they have Miss String as a next door neighbou
Phoebe Cook
This book is easy to read in a few hours! Anyone who loves magic, talking animals, and mysteries will love this book. Yes, it is intended to be a children's book, but as an adult I still loved it! It reminds me of a small version of Harry Potter. It starts out with a young girl who is adopted by parents who really have no love for her. The young girl is named Emily, and she is like a servant to her own parents! When Emily's adopted parents have three kids of their own, Emily, once again, is a se ...more
Storytelling with a definite British slant. Little orphan Emily is adopted by a wicked stepmother but the kindly fairy grandmother living next door with her talking cat, Fidget, rescues Emily from her days of toil. When Emily touches a set of keys stored long ago in the attic, she unlocks a magical power within herself and the real action begins. Emily & Fidget join forces with the famous fairy detective Buster Ignacius Spicer to defeat the diabolical witch Harpella. Zombie triplets and 59 p ...more
Mysteriously abandoned in a hatbox at Stansted Airport, Emily Vole gets adopted by the Dashwood’s who quickly realise that Emily does not fit their image of „project: child“. When Daisy Dashwood bears triplets, Emily is converted into the maid, childhood over. But then she gets to know the neighbour Miss String and her strange cat Fidget. And thus Emily’s adventures and the Fairy Detective Agency’s first case begin, with pink bunnies, an evil witch and a bunch full of moving golden keys.

This boo
Clearwater Public Library Staff Picks
Adorable is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this book. A little girl abandoned in a hat box who ends up having extraordinary talents, a talking cat named Fidget and fairies everywhere the eye can see, popping up in the most unexpected places. Plus a witch who either turns people into pink bunnies, or zombies with a lamp that looks like she borrowed it from Aladdin. What's not to love here? Gardner's world and her characters were so original and creative. I could not put this down, a ...more
Amanda Northrup
What a fun story! It reminded me of Matilda in some ways - Emily's parents are much like the Wormwoods and Emily is a smart, go-getter much like Matilda. Of course, Matilda didn't rescue some interesting fairies from an evil witch who was turning people into bunnies.

To give you a better sense of this book, let's try on some different titles that are less ridiculous.

* Emily Vole and the Attic Treasure ~ A pair of keys is found in the attic... that's what starts all the craziness.
* Emily Vole and
Tamsin Goadby
Operation Bunny is the first in the Wings & Co Fairy Detective series. Foundling, Emily Vole becomes a domestic slave after her step-mother has triplets. But then she is befriended by their neighbour, the strange Miss String and her cat Fidget and the adventure begins.
Operation Bunny is a fast paced fairy detective story with lots of verbal humour and fun. There is a rather large cast of characters some of whom are underdeveloped and superfluous to this story, but I am sure they will come in
In our before school began interview, Grace told me about her favorite book series - she brought a couple books in to show me so we could get to know each other. I'd seen Wings and Co. and I'd read reviews, but it was her recommendation that spurred me into reading. She was right. It is a great series and I am hooked. I'll keep reading until I find out why Violet Mole was left in a hatbox and how she came to be the Keeper of the Keys. There has to be a reason... If only we could all be connected ...more
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Sally Gardner grew up and still lives in London. Being dyslexic, she did not learn to read or write until she was fourteen and had been thrown out of several schools, labeled unteachable, and sent to a school for maladjusted children. Despite this, she gained a degree with highest honors at a leading London art college, followed by a scholarship to a theater school, and then went on to become a ve ...more
More about Sally Gardner...

Other Books in the Series

Wings & Co (5 books)
  • The Three Pickled Herrings (Wings & Co, #2)
  • The Vanishing of Billy Buckle
  • The Matchbox Mysteries
  • The Magic Carpet Thief
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