This is a surreal comic take on the private detective novels of the 30s and 40s. Sensible Hare is retained by the glamorous Mazy Rabbit to trace and return a stolen case of carrots. Armed, at his best, with tidy ears and feet ‘as fast as kung fu’, Sensible (who is not at all sensible) can at least rely on the superior intelligence of Ottoman, an otter who lives in a cupboard in Sensible’s office, with a friend called Thimble, who is a thimble. This is a promising and playful beginning; and, in what follows, ably supported by David Roberts’ illustrations, there are some good jokes, some ludicrous characters and situations, and a narrative that goes off at tangents. But as I read it, I had the impression of an author whose wit and mischief, though obviously his strong points, were not entirely engaged, never fully exploiting his characters or situations; so that, at the end, I felt disappointed. Looking on the back cover, I discovered that Daren King’s first children’s book Mouse Noses on Toast was the winner of the Nestlé Gold Prize in 2006. Subsequently I found that it had also been short listed for the Branford Boase Award for a first children’s novel, and that King’s first adult novel had been long listed for the Booker. Since then I’ve read Mouse Noses on Toast and I’m glad I did. It seems to me to show much more of King’s talent. Perhaps the private detective story was too much of a straitjacket.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2008-03-12 14:14:392023-01-12 15:17:07Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots
Illustrator: David Roberts