Book Review, Tamsyn Murray

Book Review: Stunt Bunny: Showbiz Sensation by Tamsyn Murray

Meet Harriet Houdini, a young rabbit with lots of attitude, as she settles into life with her new family. Never destined to be a boring bunny, Harriet finds herself scouted by the producer of hit TV show Superpets and starts her career on the showbiz ladder. From daring backflips to thrilling escape attempts Harriet really is a Stunt Bunny extraordinaire! (from Goodreads.com)


A few months ago I read Tamsyn Murray’s debut novel for Young Adults, My So-Called Afterlife and was struck by how fresh and original her writing was. Tamsyn’s latest book, Stunt bunny: Showbiz Sensation, aimed at five to nine year olds is no different. It’s fun, refreshing and unique and pitched perfectly to the age group.

Harriet Houdini is a bunny with attitude. Finding her way from the pet shop to her new owner Susie, and her family, she amuses and entertains readers with her hilarious observations and antics. The mutual dislike between Harriet and Susie’s dad (nicknamed Evil Edward or EE for short by the cheeky little rabbit) makes for great comedy, especially as EE comes off the worst time and time again. Harriet will appeal greatly to children as she outwits the grumpy grown ups, and will have them in fits of giggles.

My five year old daughter is at an age where she is reading a little bit for herself, but still thoroughly enjoys being read to. We’ve been venturing away from our usual picture books recently and trying out books in the 5-9 age range. I have noticed that sometimes books with more complex stories and texts are at times difficult to read aloud well, but this isn’t the case for Stunt Bunny. The writing and pace makes it effortless to slip into the characters and an absolute joy to read aloud. Harriet’s cheeky attitude and evil magician The Great Maldini were both fun and a breeze to get into. I enjoyed reading this to my daughter as much as she enjoyed listening.

With it’s well paced, snappy sentences and short chapters this is also a wonderful book for children who are confident enough to read alone. I like how Tamsyn’s writing doesn’t patronise or speak down to the younger reader. Harriet is conspiratorial in her narrative and I think children will enjoy and appreciate the more ‘grown up’ tone. It’s also one that will appeal to both boys and girls alike, and an excellent book for the more reluctant reader too. I’d also like to mention the brilliant and funny illustrations by Lee Wildish which feature regularly throughout. My daughter loves stopping to look at pictures as we read, and these were nicely detailed and really helped to bring the characters to life.

Tamsyn Murray is a natural story teller with a fresh, humorous and original style which works equally as well for children as it does for teens. Stunt Bunny is fun, clever, mischievous, fast paced and exciting and children will just want to devour the story. It had both my daughter and myself laughing out loud! In fact, it was enjoyed so much that she was forcing her little eyes open just to hear more.If you know a child aged between 5-9 years old then this is the ideal book gift for them and an absolute must for any little readers book shelf. We can’t wait for the next installment due for release February 2011!

You can find out more about Tamsyn, Stunt Bunny and her other books here

Thanks to the publishers for sending this book for review.

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