Wings & Co: Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner and illustrated by David Roberts, paperback, 185 pages, published by Orion Children’s Books in 2012.
Emily Vole was abandoned in a hatbox as a baby, and she is adopted by the very rich Ronald and Daisy Dashwood. Daisy is very vain and rather stupid, and when she falls pregnant with triplets, she turns Emily from adopted daughter into a Cinderella like slave. Emily works from sun-up to sun-down cleaning, washing, and caring for the triplets. She is not allowed to go to school and has to sleep in the laundry. One day by chance Emily meets her wonderful and elderly neighbour Miss String, and her man-sized talking cat, Fidget. They help and teach Emily, and open her to the world of magic and fairies. When the evil witch, Harpella, comes wreaking vengeance, Emily and Fidget set off on the run. They team up with the grumpy and rather self-important Buster who is a fairy detective, and together they try to destroy the evil Harpella.
I really enjoyed this story, and am looking forward to the next instalment to see what Emily, Fidget and Buster get up to. It was well written with some funky black and white illustrations to enhance the story. I found it to be an entertaining read that I wanted to keep reading to the end. I will be encouraging my first grader to read this, as I think it is suitable for school aged children. Emily is a quirky character with independence and smarts, and I liked her. Fidget was also a good character, with many cat and fish related phrases, and a rather sardonic sense of humour. I will enjoy reading this again to my pre-schooler.