Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Mr Bunny's Chocolate Factory by Elys Dolan (OUP / Oxford Children's Books)

Hello there Easter Bunny. You're a little early aren't you, we're barely washing down the last of our Christmas cake!!
Actually, that's not strictly true, it's never too early for chocolate and in "Mr Bunny's Chocolate Factory", Elys Dolan revisits the quietly crazy and chaotic world of the factory floor. No weasels this time though, just a rather despotic bunny and his downtrodden chicken co-workers. Oh, and a health and safety Unicorn! Well, why not!

I knew Charlotte would love this one because A) she loves Elys' books and B) she loves chocolate (I'm more of a cheese fan so maybe there's scope for a cheesy sequel? You never know!)

Mr Bunny's factory makes the world's most delicious chocolate eggs but chickens do all the hard work. They help mix Mr Bunny's secret recipe chocolate, they turn it into bars, and then they scoff it down before laying the most beautiful chocolate eggs. What, you didn't know thats how chocolate eggs are made? Well you do now!

The problem is that Mr Bunny, like most rich successful folk, can't resist pushing his poor downtrodden workers even harder so he can become even more rich and successful.

"Work harder!" cries Mr Bunny.

"Work longer hours!" he screams.

"HOLIDAYS ARE BANNED!" he harrumphs, and before you know it the chickens have had enough and down tools (well, downy bums) refusing to cooperate.

Mr Bunny decides he doesn't need those rotten chickens to make eggs, and his dutiful health and safety inspector for that matter, he can do it all on his own. But catastrophe is just around the corner. A big mega chocolate-explodey catastrophe. Is this the end for Mr Bunny (and what on EARTH has happened to poor Debbie the chicken?)

Beautifully written with a moral that most adults (who don't own chocolate factories but perhaps work in one) might nod sagely at. Greed is definitely Mr Bunny's undoing but can an old rabbit change his spots?

There are so many subtle little nods and references, gorgeous details and funny little dialogue asides in this that you can't help but go right back to the start and read it all over again once you're done. Rather loved Mr Bunny's "Steve Jobs" like black polo neck btw :)

Charlotte's best bit: Ew! No one wants rotten easter eggs with green insides!

Daddy's favourite bit: A beautifully constructed modern fable on the excesses of greed, and treating people like dirt to pave the way to your own successes and excesses. Timely or what!

"Mr Bunny's Chocolate Factory" by Elys Dolan is out now, published by OUP (and kindly supplied for review).