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Wings & Co 1: Operation Bunny [Paperback]

Sally Gardner , David Roberts
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: £5.99
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012 WINGS & CO (Book 1)

Emily Vole makes headline news in the first weeks of her life, when she is found in an abandoned hatbox in Stansted Airport.

Then, only a few years later, her neighbour Mrs String dies leaving Emily a mysterious inheritance: an old shop, a small bunch of golden keys and a cat called Fidget. It's the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime as the old Fairy Detective Agency comes back to life.

It is up to Emily to reopen the shop, and recall the fairies to duty. Together they must embark on their first mystery and do battle with their great fairy-snatching enemy, Harpella.

Frequently Bought Together

Wings & Co 1: Operation Bunny + Three Pickled Herrings (Wings & Co 2) (The Fairy Detective Agency) + The Vanishing of Billy Buckle (Wings & Co 3) (The Fairy Detective Agency)
Price For All Three: £14.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1444003720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444003727
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This is a funny and exciting story with memorable characters and great illustrations from the brilliant David Roberts that should be popular with young readers. (Clare Poole THE BOOKSELLER)

Young readers will be captivated by the idea that magic is just beneath the surface of everyday life in gardner's new series about a fairy detective agency. Huge fun. (Fiona Noble THE BOOKSELLER)

There's mystery, magic, humour and adventure in this quirky new series set in a fairy detective agency. Perfect for young fans of all things magical who want a more challenging story. (THE BOOKSELLER)

You don't have to be a child to enjoy a children's book. Thank goodness, because there are some really brilliant ones out there at the moment and ... Operation Bunny is no exception. ...Thought provoking and lots of fun. (NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE)

For mystery solving with a magical twist, you'll love Wings & Co ... Quirky, fun and totally charming, this is a magical mystery series. (TBK MAGAZINE)

...I love it! It's cute, funny and bizarrely believable. I found myself loving every character, even the baddies! The illustrations really add to the effect of this story. Each page bursts with adventure, following the intrepid Emily as she becomes an awesome detective. (Georgia, aged 12 BOOKS AND WRITERS JNR)

This story has a wonderfully contemporary feel to it. The language is modern and the pace of the story is fast and exciting. Yet there is also a very Dahl-esque darkness o the tale ... Operation Bunny has all the magic ingredients for a perfect children's novel ... I really enjoyed this kooky story. It was fun and endearing. The illustrations were brilliantly entertaining ... Operation Bunny is a quirky tale full of imagination. I highly recommend it. I'm sure it will become a favourite amoung newly fluent readers. (THE BOOKETTE)

I normally don't read stories involving magic but this one I couldn't put down! I would recommend this book to children who like adventure and powerful magic stories. My book rating is an epic 10/10! (Eloise, 9 years ANORAK) absolute cracker. Gardner writes with a delirious wit, sketching out intriguing characters and doling out jokes and pathos in exactly the right measure. (FINANCIAL TIMES)

Magic and mystery with a generous sprinkling of humour make this a great read for 7+. David Roberts' quirky drawings are just right! (PARENTS IN TOUCH)

This fun, magical story will delight young readers ... Highly recommended (BOOKAPOET)

Young readers will be thrilled when they enter Emily Vole's magical world (Ni4KIDS)

...a fantastic story that had me laughing out loud in places. The characters are wonderful and diverse ... I didn't want the story to end. Gardner has vividly brought to life a magical world of talking cats and colourful bunnies. I can't wait to read the next installment! (BOOKBABBLERS)

This is a marvellously inventive, comic tale which subverts our expectations of fairys and fairy tales. There is plenty of play on words and the wry humour is compounded by the dark, sly edge of the wonderful illustrations of David Roberts ... great fun. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)

A delightfully quirky and amusing story (THE BOOKBAG)

...a story that will make you laugh, give you some wonderful twists and when blended with the fantastical takes you into a world of its own ... a book that I really can't recommend enough ... Great stuff. (TATTY'S TREASURE CHEST)

...this story will carry you away from reality into a world of enchantment and adventure ... a quirky and entertaining read. Emily Vole is an adorable and likable heroine and this is a story spiced with secrets and magic which will appeal hugely to younger readers. (A DREAM OF BOOKS)

...plenty of excitement, laughter, and yes, sparkling magic throughout, this first book in a new detective series for yuong readers is a delight (PLAYING BY THE BOOK)

Wonderful stuff (JE TOWEY)

Sally Gardner is on sparkling form (DULWICH BOOKS REVIEW)


This quirky story from Sally Gardner is packed with magic, humour and imagination, as well as a touch of Roald Dahl-esque darkness. Young readers will be charmed by resourceful heroine Emily and her sidekick Fidget ... David Roberts's entertaining illustrations are the perfect match for Gardner's pleasingly eccentric text. This first instalment of the Wings & Co series is great fun and is sure to delight newly independent readers. (BOOKTRUST)

Operation Bunny has Sally Gardner's usual humour, charm, pace and overall feeling of whimsy which will spellbind young readers. Operation Bunny is a beautifully written, original story complemented perfectly by David Roberts's quirky illustrations. (LOVELY TREEZ READS)

I love this book so much ... It is an enchanting book ... If you like mind-boggling adventures filled with brilliant illustrations and strange talking animals, then do not hesitate to pick up this brilliant book. (GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S BOOKS)

a must for any junior school library (LIBRARYZONE)

this is classic young fiction at its best (BETH KEMP)

Sally Gardner brings to [the book] a great plot and her trademark quirky humour ... a rollercoaster - we're very much looking forward to the second. (ABC MAGAZINE)

David Roberts's spooky illustrations have a Goreyesque detail that is perfect. The poignancy of Emily's plight is offset by a buoyancy that counters the acid wit with which her world is described ... this brims with quirky charm reminiscent of Eva Ibbotson, Joan Aiken and early JK Rowling. (Amanda Craig THE TIMES)

A fine story to read aloud (Nicolette Jones SUNDAY TIMES)

...such a charming story; with tons of quirky details, plenty of whimsy but also some looming darkness in both the real and magical world, Gardner offers us a story of exquisite quality ... Roberts is such a talented, unusual artist. (LIBRARY MICE)

One of our featured books last issue but so due another mention as a wackily surreal magical story with stunning illustrations ... Bonkers but brilliant, we love it! (TBK MAGAZINE)

Punctuated by David Roberts's chaotic, enjoyable illustrations, Sally Gardner's Operation Bunny... is fun, quirky and imaginative ... With shades of Roald Dahl's Matilda, this is a marvellous, wild ride for eight- to 10-year-olds. (Viv Groskop THE OBSERVER)

Operation Bunny has got what it takes to become a classic (DAILY EXPRESS)

I love Sally's original take on life and language, both of which shine through here. The illustrations by David Roberts are marvellous and make this book doubly desirable. (Maudie Smith 2013-02-25)

I enjoyed it because it was funny and imaginative. The pictures were fantastically detailed and the story itself was very engaging. I would recommend this book to girls aged 7-10 for reading on their own and 5-7 for it to be read by parents. (Abigail Wetton, aged 9 2013-02-25)

exciting story that is filled with wacky characters. It's ideal for pre-teens who want to start reading long, chapter books, with or without a little help from mum and dad at bedtime. (Madhouse Family Reviews Blog 2013-02-11)

A delightful heroine and a cast of quirky characters, a good dollop of magic, lots of humour and a fast-moving plot, you have the perfect recipe for a hugely entertaining family story session (Marilyn Brocklehurst Books for Keeps 2014-07-01)

Book Description

A brand-new fairy detective series brimming with mystery and magic by million copy selling author Sally Gardner. Unabridged Edition. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely 6 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the first in a series of books about a fairy detective agency called Wings & Co, run by Emily Vole, a young girl with an eventful background for one so young. For those familiar with the authors style, Operation Bunny has her usual humour, story pacing, characterisation and charm. This book is suitable for kids of around the age of 7, dependent on how far along with learning to read they are, and I suppose it is really aimed at girls though my boy loves it and it is certainly not an overly girly book.

The illustrations alone make this book worth buying and really help to draw the young reader into the story. The story itself is a little reminiscent of Roald Dahl, which is the best recommendation anyone can give in my opinion. My little boy loves the story and the character of Emily in particular. He is very keen to read more in the series. The characters and story are paced and pitched perfectly for kids of his age. Overall we would highly recommend this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Promising Series for Younger Readers 24 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
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 wannabes, condemned to a life of drudgery. However, hope comes in the shape of Miss String and Fidget...I won't spoil the story by saying any more. Suffice to say, Operation Bunny has Sally Gardner's usual humour, charm, pace and overall feeling of whimsy which will spellbind young readers.

Suitable for independent readers from age 7 upwards, probably aimed more at girls than boys, Operation Bunny is a beautifully written, original story complemented perfectly by David Roberts' quirky illustrations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but contains zombies 13 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My daughter (9 1/2) loved this and it disappeared over a weekend. She said it probably rated 4.3 out of five but couldn't be drawn on how she had arrived at such a precise rating. She said it was clever and had a good story and interesting characters but that the cover gave no indication that the stories features zombies. She was concerned that "someone's grandma might see it and think it was a cute story about kittens and bunnies and give it to a child who was afraid of zombies without knowing that there are zombies in it". So. you have been warned. If you are such a grandmother, and you have a grandchild who you think may be afraid of zombies - steer clear of this book - otherwise it was a great hit with my small sample of the target audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Operation Bunny is a fairy story somewhat in the fashion of Joan Aiken's stories with her whimsy and sense of fun. The heroine is Emily Vole, found abandoned in a hat box and adopted as a fashion accessory by the dreadful Dashwoods, who soon tire of her, especially when they have triplets of their own.
Next door is a dilapidated house, which brings the whole tone of the neighbourhood down. The Dashwoods want to buy it, but the owner, Miss String, refuses. When times become very hard for Emily, Miss String and her cat come to her aid. Emily hears about the wicked witch, Harpella and the threat she poses.
When Miss String is killed, she leaves everything to Emily who now becomes the focus of Harpella's enmity. The story bounds along with great verve, involving lots of huge and eccentric characters.
This book would suit girls up to about ten or eleven years old. It would be a great book to read aloud to five or six year olds with great scope for funny voices. Sadly, I am not sure that small boys would appreciate its humour (except by mistake, if they happened to be passing while it was being read aloud).
A great book for Christmas.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of fun for the younger reader 6 Oct 2012
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Sally Gardner is one of those authors that can apparently turn her hand to any genre with remarkable style. Having read her more adult titles such as The Silver Blade or the Red Necklace, I wasn't sure how well she'd be able to turn out what was more a young readers story but it appears that she does it with skill to spare.

Within this book is a story that has all the elements to entertain as well as amuse the 8+ reading market with a story that will make you laugh, give you some wonderful twists and when blended with the fantastical takes you into a world of its own. Add to this some wonderful stand out characters like Fidget backed up with our heroine and all in it's a book that I really can't recommend enough for the younger market. Great stuff.
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By Mumof2
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant series. Sally Gardner is very clever. We have thoroughly enjoyed all of the series so far and eagerly await the next one she writes. THis is the first of the series, so start with this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Operation Bunny 9 Feb 2014
By Jenny, Wondrous Reads TOP 500 REVIEWER
Operation Bunny is a fantastic start to my new favourite children's series. If you like Marcus Sedgwick's Raven Mysteries you'll love this, and that's really the highest praise I can give it. It's kooky, funny, addictive and completely magical - brilliant from start to finish.

Emily Vole is the star of the show, abandoned when she was a baby and adopted by Daisy and Ronald Dashwood. She spent her life being their housekeeper, until she makes friends with the elderly lady next door and her giant talking cat Fidget. After that, nothing is ever the same for Emily Vole, and instead she becomes involved in a world full of fairies, witches and pink fluffy bunnies. Not bad for a baby girl left in a hat box!

Sally Gardner's writing is great to read, so lovely and imaginative. She brings this unnatural selection of characters together, making them form friendships and change each other's lives. I really don't know where she came up with some of her ideas but I love them, especially the keys, spirit lamp and kitchen utensils. Seriously, if you ever wondered what a lamp with arms and legs would look like, then this is the book for you!

David Roberts illustrates this series and his work is just as important as the writing. It brings the world of Wings and Co to life through a series of black and white drawings perfectly suited to the story, and I'd happily sit and read a book dedicated to his artwork. The whole package is spellbinding and absolutely recommended for 8+ readers. I'm not sure whether I should say this or not, but I think this is Sally Gardner's best work to date!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
another fab book from Sally Gardner
Published 16 days ago by mrs susan a syers
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the audiobook for long car journeys!
We actually got this as an audiobook - it was EXPERTLY read by Simon Russell Beale - it is a complex story, one has to 'keep up' but his reading makes it a joy to follow! Read more
Published 25 days ago by Gwerfyl
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great series. I am reading it with my eight ...
This is a great series. I am reading it with my eight year old daughter. Grumpy fairies, a witty talking cat, some awful adult characters and a great heroine, Emily. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Mrs Joanne F Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book
I liked everything in the book: the way it was written, the illustration...
I would definitely recommend this book and the two others in the same series (Three Pickled... Read more
Published 1 month ago by counsellor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My son loves this book and so do I
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. C. Curran
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely book
Discovered this with my daughter by mere chance and loved it.and the second one in the series is also excellent. I feel they are best read in order though.very enjoyable!
Published 15 months ago by Gra & Co
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical tale
Good book for children. Girls particularly will love this book - Cinderella with a dash of magic in it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by M. Gourley
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book
So operation bunny a great read for all ages from 6- 18 by sally Gardner I love you sally gradner !!!!
Published 16 months ago by Curious Tracy
4.0 out of 5 stars Operation Bunny
Read the series out of sequence - read 3 Pickled Herrings first without realising there was an earlier book. Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. Benson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for newly independent readers
Short but good, nice children's story with the orphan heroine and horrible adopted family, saved by magic. Liked the bunnies. Would make a good film!
Published 18 months ago by K. J. Noyes
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