Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King

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Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King
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Genre: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Insane, naughty and charming, this little book is easy to read, fun to share and is full of the most appalling one liners. It's a must.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: September 2007
Publisher: Faber Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0571231751

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Sensible Hare is a detective. He has untidy ears and floppy feet - but in his sleuthing imagination, his ears are tidy and his feet are as fast as kung fu. He works from an office that used to be a hat shop and ghostly hats gather on the ceiling. Sensible Hare has a friend - and guide - called Ottoman. He's an otter. Ottoman's best friend is Sensible Hare, obviously, but he's also very fond of Thimble...

He had named the thimble Thimble, after his grandma, Thimble Otter, who had been named after a thimble.

Um... ooookkkkkkkk.

So anyway, Sensible Hare gets a case to solve. Mazy Rabbit's suitcase full of carrots has disappeared and she of the snow-white bottom and ruby-red eyes wants Sensible Hare to find it. It's a tough case to crack, but Sensible is behind on the rent, afraid of Mr Ratchet his landlord and has fallen in love at first sight with the delectable Mazy. The ensuing adventure sees Sensible and Otter careering around town pursued by a horde of villains and getting arrested in a case of mistaken identity. But all is orangey, and carroty, and well in the end.

If Mazy Rabbit doesn't want Sensible Hare, do you think Daren King would let me have him? He's a bit daft, he's a bit stupid, and he isn't at all sensible, but he is very winsome. I wouldn't mind the brains of the outfit, Ottoman, coming too. Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots might well be intended for little ones, but this big, tatty-at-the-edges reviewer laughed like a drain when she read it. It's wild, it's sweet, it's rather exciting and it's utterly and completely ridiculous. It also contains some of the worst one-liners it's ever been my pleasure to snigger at.

The basic premise is a pantomime one in which a dozy hero is helped out of various scrapes by a kind sidekick and friend. In the brief moments you're not laughing, there's an overwhelming temptation to shout IT'S BEHIND YOU! There are some great cameo characters. There is Mr Ratchet the fearsome landlord who carries three miniature Mr Ratchets in his top pocket. They like to torture tenants who are late with their rent. There is Jack Gin, who was going to spend a peaceful day plotting to murder the Queen until Sensible gets in the way. There are puns galore - hare shampoo anyone? - and some rhythmic, evocative, but always rabbity imagery - the moon hung in the sky, round as carrot pie.

I loved everything about this little book - the trippy surrealism, the jokes, the sweet friendships, the vital, energetic illustrations. I can't recommend it highly enough - whether you're three or thirty, five or fifty, eight or eighty.

My thanks to the kind people at Faber for sending the book.

If they enjoyed Sensible Hare, they might also enjoy Roald Dahl's Esio Trot. Those not up to reading yet will enjoy an equally Tim-nice-but-Dim in hero in Lynley Dodd's Hairy Maclary.

Booklists.jpg Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King is in the Top Ten Quirky Kids' Books.
Buy Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King at


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