The heroically titled second volume of William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood, takes over immediately from where volume 1 left off. Pitch has been vanquished, but is sure to return. North, Ombric and Katherine are in the Himalayas, and the children and creatures of Santoff Claussen are alone, watched over only by the ever vigilant and valiant Nightlight.
Unsurprisingly things go wrong, but not before Ombric discovers a time machine and attempts to prevent Pitch’s fall into despair. As he tries to alter history, he is stopped by a seven foot bunny, who wields a staff with an egg on the end.
Any novel that employs a gargantuan cottontail as its deus ex machina better not take itself too seriously, and fortunately E. Aster Bunnymund… does not. It’s a beguiling riot from start to finish, filled with rich language and surreal shenanigans. The plot is almost non-existent, but magic and excitement burst from every page.
My seven year old, devoured this book. It was an amazing sight, seeing how immersed in it he became, how thrilled he was by the Easter Bunny and his army of eggs. It’s not all high-jinx. There is somber element added through the Bunny’s misgivings about the more destructive elements of human nature.
Once again the book is a beautiful object. Great cover art and beautiful illustrations inside, compensating for a thinness of plot. The world building is beautiful; a beguiling modern fairy-tale. Before he’d even finished my son was asking me to order the next part in the series. After all that chocolate, who else could it be next but the Tooth Fairy?