by Richard Scrimger
Orca Book Publishers, 2016
In Weerdest Day Ever!, Bunny (his grandfather prefers Bernard), his brother Spencer, and their grandfather David McLean go on a weekend camping trip. Bunny discovers that a war is about to break out between Canada and America, and somehow the man who’s stolen Spencer’s cell phone has something to do with it. Can Bunny retrieve the phone and stop a war? Well, if anyone can, it’s Richard Scrimger’s Bunny, a fascinating, quirky character whose view of the world is unconventional but delightful.
I have to state up front that I deeply enjoy Richard Scrimger’s books and have been following his writing since The Nose from Jupiter (1998). So I was pleased to learn about the Seven Prequels. In this series, the writers of Seven (the Series) and the Seven Sequels reach back in time. The framing story of Weerdest Day Ever! introduces Bunny as a teenager writing down his story as an English assignment; in the story itself he is only twelve. The story is told in Bunny’s inimitable way, self-conscious spelling errors and all.
What makes Weerdest Day Ever! work is its sense of play. The book is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. Scrimger has a great sense of comedy, amplified by Bunny’s wobbly spelling and unusual way of making sense. Bunny lurches from scene to scene in a chain of near-misses with Spencer, Grandpa, and the man Bunny is chasing. Along the way he meets Tyler and Beth, whose own issues add depth and poignancy to the plot. Everything turns out, of course. (Readers who want another take on the weekend can read Speed by Ted Staunton, which recounts the story from the perspective of Bunny’s brother Spencer.)
Weerdest Day Ever! invites readers inside a sly joke and tells an absurd tale of mystery, courage, and friendship. It’s wonderful fun.
This review was originally published in Resource Links, October 2016.