Reviews /

Bunny vs Monkey: Rise of the Maniacal Badger

Authored by Jamie Smart
Illustrated by Jamie Smart
Published by David Fickling Books

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the four Bunny vs Monkey volumes before The Rise of the Maniacal Badger, you will soon become immersed in Jamie Smart’s world of wit, humour and mad-capped ideas. Attempting to defeat the new evil genius of the maniacal badger is the theme that links the 46 short comic sketches in the volume and the reader soon appreciates the different personalities of Bunny, Monkey and Skunky et al.

What I was particularly struck by is the linguistic sophistication of the banter in many of the scenes as well as the tongue-in-cheek references to megalomania, technological madness and destroying the environment. There are plenty of farting and burping quips added in but always with purpose (really!). My favourite skits include the parody of Sherlock Holmes complete with nineteenth century phrasing ‘Gentlemen… it appears we are in the grip of a serial thief!’ and ‘No need to panic, everyone! Using my finely tuned detective brain, I will deduce who the perpetrator is! ‘ Another favourite scene is Game On! where Badger has invented a brand new app in which he captures Bunny and Monkey and forces them to fight. What he doesn’t realise is that they can run up in-app purchases to arm themselves and then Badger will have to explain the bill to his mum.

There is the age-old and quite tedious debate about comics and reading, usually prompted by people who don’t read comics. Anyway, whether you were a reader of The Beano etc as a child, as I was, or if you are only just introducing comics and graphic novels to younger readers, start with Bunny vs Monkey and you will all be hooked.

Shortlisted for the Week Junior Book Awards 2023 Illustrated Category