Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

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by Deborah Howe, Victor Garber, James Howe
     
 

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The little bunny had begun to move for the first time since he had been put in his cage. He lifted his tiny nose and inhaled deeply, as if gathering sustenance from the moonlight.

"He slicked his ears back close to his body, and for the first time," Chester said, "I noticed the peculiar marking on his forehead. What had seemed an ordinary black spot between his

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Overview

The little bunny had begun to move for the first time since he had been put in his cage. He lifted his tiny nose and inhaled deeply, as if gathering sustenance from the moonlight.

"He slicked his ears back close to his body, and for the first time," Chester said, "I noticed the peculiar marking on his forehead. What had seemed an ordinary black spot between his ears took on a strange v-shape, which connected with the big black patch that covered his back and each side of his neck. It looked as if he was wearing a coat . . . no, more like a cape than a coat."

Through the silence had drifted the strains of a remote and exotic music.

"I could have sworn it was a gypsy violin," Chester told me. "I thought perhaps a caravan was passing by, so I ran to the window."

I remembered my mother telling me something about caravans when I was a puppy. But for the life of me, I couldn't remember what.

"What's a caravan?" I asked, feeling a little stupid.

"A caravan is a band of gypsies traveling through the forest in their wagons," Chester answered.

"Ah, yes." It was coming back to me now. "Station wagons?"

"No, covered wagons! The gypsies travel all through the land, setting up camps around great bonfires, doing magical tricks, and sometimes, if you cross their palms with a piece of silver, they'll tell your fortune."

"You mean if I gave them a fork, they'd tell my fortune?" I asked, breathlessly.

Chester looked at me with disdain. "Save your silverware," he said, "it wasn't a caravan after all."

I was disappointed. "What was it?" I asked.

Chester explained that when he looked out the window, he saw Professor Mickelwhite, our next door neighbor, playing the violin in hisliving room. He listened for a few moments to the haunting melody and sighed with relief. I've really got to stop reading these horror stories late at night, he thought, it's beginning to affect my mind. He yawned and turned to go back to his chair and get some sleep. As he turned, however, he was startled by what he saw.

There in the moonlight, as the music filtered through the air, sat the bunny, his eyes intense and staring, an unearthly aura about them.

"Now, this is the part you won't believe," Chester said to me, "but as I watched, his lips parted in a hideous smile, and where a rabbit's buck teeth should have been, two little pointed fangs glistened."

I wasn't sure what to make of Chester's story, but the way he told it, it set my hair on end.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Leading a trio of titles with milestone celebrations, Bunnicula 25th Anniversary Edition by Deborah and James Howe, illus. by Alan Daniel, boasts a new foreword by James Howe to commemorate the 1979 publication of the tale starring a rabbit suspected of vegetable vampirism, narrated by the family dog. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-It has been 20 years since Deborah and James Howe wrote Bunnicula (Atheneum, 1979), and what better way to celebrate than this new unabridged recording read by actor Victor Garber (Titanic, Sleepless in Seattle). Garber gives an educated dignity to Harold, the Monroe family dog. His voice inflections and accent changes to clearly define each character as he calmly relates the story. This is a straight reading of the text, without musical interruptions or sound effects. Each cassette side ends in silence with no direction to turn over or forward the tape. Harold relates the story of how the Monroes find a rabbit at a showing of Dracula. They bring the bunny home and name him Bunnicula. Chester, the cat, soon suspects that Bunnicula is a vampire rabbit and takes it upon himself to rid the house of the cursed bunny. With the reluctant help of Harold ,they torture the rabbit with garlic, and unsuccessfully attempt to pound a raw steak through Bunnicula's heart. In the end, it is up to Harold to save Bunnicula and calm the nerves of Chester. Bunnicula is a classic that shows no signs of becoming dated. The recording included a touching afterward by James Howe who relates how his late wife Deborah came to create this story, and to finish it despite her battle with cancer. A must for any library lacking in the bunny occult.-Todd Dunkelberg, Deschutes Public Library System, OR Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Bunnicula is the kind of story that does not age, and in all probability, will never die. Or stay dead, anyway..."
— Neil Gaiman

"The most lovable vampire of all time."
— J. Gordon Melton, author of The Vampire Book

"Move over, Dracula! This mystery-comedy is sure to delight."
New York Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807282038
Publisher:
Listening Library, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/2004
Series:
Bunnicula Series
Edition description:
Unabridged, 2 Cassettes
Pages:
42
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 7.41(h) x 1.31(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

Bunnicula


By Deborah Howe James Howe

Atheneum

ISBN: 0-689-86775-1


Chapter One

The little bunny had begun to move for the first time since he had been put in his cage. He lifted his tiny nose and inhaled deeply, as if gathering sustenance from the moonlight.

"He slicked his ears back close to his body, and for the first time," Chester said, "I noticed the peculiar marking on his forehead. What had seemed an ordinary black spot between his ears took on a strange v-shape, which connected with the big black patch that covered his back and each side of his neck. It looked as if he was wearing a coat ... no, more like a cape than a coat."

Through the silence had drifted the strains of a remote and exotic music.

"I could have sworn it was a gypsy violin," Chester told me. "I thought perhaps a caravan was passing by, so I ran to the window."

I remembered my mother telling me something about caravans when I was a puppy. But for the life of me, I couldn't remember what.

"What's a caravan?" I asked, feeling a little stupid.

"A caravan is a band of gypsies traveling through the forest in their wagons," Chester answered.

"Ah, yes." It was coming back to me now. "Station wagons?"

"No, covered wagons! The gypsies travel all through the land, setting up camps around great bonfires, doing magical tricks, and sometimes, if you cross their palms with a piece of silver, they'll tell your fortune."

"You mean if I gave them a fork, they'd tell myfortune?" I asked, breathlessly.

Chester looked at me with disdain. "Save your silverware," he said, "it wasn't a caravan after all."

I was disappointed. "What was it?" I asked.

Chester explained that when he looked out the window, he saw Professor Mickelwhite, our next door neighbor, playing the violin in his living room. He listened for a few moments to the haunting melody and sighed with relief. I've really got to stop reading these horror stories late at night, he thought, it's beginning to affect my mind. He yawned and turned to go back to his chair and get some sleep. As he turned, however, he was startled by what he saw.

There in the moonlight, as the music filtered through the air, sat the bunny, his eyes intense and staring, an unearthly aura about them.

"Now, this is the part you won't believe," Chester said to me, "but as I watched, his lips parted in a hideous smile, and where a rabbit's buck teeth should have been, two little pointed fangs glistened."

I wasn't sure what to make of Chester's story, but the way he told it, it set my hair on end.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Bunnicula by Deborah Howe James Howe Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers, including the modern classic Bunnicula and its highly popular sequels. In 2001, Howe published The Misfits, the story of four outcast seventh-graders who try to end name-calling in their school. The Misfits is now widely read and studied in middle schools throughout the country, and was the inspiration for the national movement known as No Name-Calling Week (NoNameCallingWeek.org), an event observed by thousands of middle and elementary schools annually. There are three companion novels to The Misfits: Totally Joe (2005), Addie on the Inside (2011), and Also Known as Elvis (2014). Howe’s many other books for children from preschool through teens frequently deal with the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.

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Bunnicula 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 76 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard of the bunnicula series from another teacher I taught with and she said how all the kids loved the series. I bought this as my nieces first chapter book and she can not put the book down. I have already gotten her the next book in the series.
IowaJulie More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my sister to read to her six year old daughter. I loved reading it to my children when they were younger. Once they could read it - they read it over and over again. The cover looks a little scary but the story is not. It is a truly delightful and fun story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the book I used to introduce my young son to vampires because it uses a somewhat unintimidating bunny as its villan and animals as victems. This shouldn't scare children too much and if it does it will do it in a fun way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a good book to read. I gave it five stars becuse I really understand it.
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
Harold the dog and Chester the cat are comfortable in their home with Mr. and Mrs. Monroe and their two sons, Toby and Pete (all fake names for their protection). Harold and Chester are far more erudite than we humans could possibly believe and are, shall we say, well-read. One evening, the Monroes, having been out to see a movie, arrive home with a small bundle that turns out to be a tiny rabbit in a shoebox full of dirt. The little black and white animal has a note tied around his neck with a ribbon and Harold recognizes the strange words as an obscure dialect from the Carpathian Mountains of Roumania. Mrs. Monroe names him Bunnicula because they found him at a Dracula movie. That first night, after everyone has gone to bed, is when a very odd thing happens and, a few days later, Chester determines that this little bunny is not your average bunny. He must save the Monroes and Harold and himself from what could be a terrible fate as no one else, including Harold, understands just what this creature really is. Harold, at least, is willing to help with the mission as long as he doesn’t have to wear garlic. First published in 1979, this is the first of a delightful series written for the 8-to-12-year-old crowd but its humor is sophisticated enough to keep adults laughing, too. (My favorite scene is when Chester is playacting to try to warn the Monroes. He becomes the kitty version of Bela Lugosi, cape and all.) Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harold's laid-back, friendly narration drew me in before the suspense could grab hold. Even now, over a decade after having first fallen in love with it, Bunnicula still makes me laugh as Harold calmly recounts the adventures and behavior of his household, especially his well-read cat friend, Chester.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi guys I read this book with my fourth grade teacher. I really like it except the characters weren't believable. It is about the Monroes bringing home a bunny who Chester thinks is a vampire. Harold thinks this is a dumb conclusion. As I said the characters weren't very believable but other than that I like it and there are a LOT of funny parts which I love. The characters weren't believable. Otherwise, I loved it ! i would reccomend it and i LOVED the ending
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bunnicula is a hysterical and mysterious book. For example, in the story all Harold could think about was food. Another example, in the story Harold had to guessing what was going on with Bunnicula and the white vegatables . If you enjoy stories that make you laugh out loud or stories that keep you in suspence this may be the book for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I gave it that many stars because I like mysteries. I like the story because I like cats, rabbits, dogs and it is interesting. Like when Bunnicula went on his midnight run and when Chester tries to kill him. I think people who like mysteries should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bunnicula is a great book for all ages. Chester the cat has a wide imagination, he thinks Bunnicula is a vampire. Now the vagetabbles are white and Chester has morre ideas to kill this bunny. Can harold save Bunnicula from this disastrous plan of Chester's?
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one of the funniest,adventrous,most exciting books i've ever read! my 5th grade teacher read it to my class and i liked it so much i read it 2 more times since she read it! i would recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great for everyone. If the kids don't like being too scared, this is the book for them. It is less than 100 pages so elementary children are more willing to pick up this book and read it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVED Bunnicula! It got my attention fast and kept it until the last page. The animals were all so funny, and I liked the way the Monroe's talked to their pets. Great book! I want to read more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
BUNNICULA IS THE GREATEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN. JAMES HOWE IS THE BEST AUTHOR EVER.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a fun book. My 3 grandsons ages 7,8 and 9 loved it. It has fun characters and a cute story. They enjoyed the book so much I purchased 3 more books in the Bunnicula series. If you want a good read that kids can finish and want to finish in one sitting Bunnicula books are for you
Suvorov More than 1 year ago
The Monroe family comes home one night from the movies with a new pet- a rabbit named Bunnicula. The cat, Chester, is convinced that Bunnicula is a vampire and enlists the help of Harold the dog (the narrator) to dispense with the monster. This book is hilarious. My daughter and I read it together in one sitting. You may ask, what exactly is a vampire rabbit? A vampire rabbit sucks the juices and color out of vegetables. Of course that will absolutely not do. So Chester tries to drive a steak in Bunnicula's heart. Yes, you read that correctly- steak. Or to be more precise, a sirloin steak. Wait until you see the pictures. I think the best picture is Chester, wearing a cape, and trying to pantomime a vampire in an attempt to warn the Monroes. The book is intelligent. I hate when children's books dumb down the vocabulary, but Bunnicula is not guilty of this. In fact, there were times when I stopped and made sure my daughter understood certain things like blight, class lectures and the Carpathian Mountain region. We thoroughly enjoyed this book and laughed through most of it. It is a great story and a lot of fun to read aloud together. We will definitely be reading the next books in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my niece and her younger twin brothers. She's been reading it to them and they've all loved it.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Looks like Harold and Chester have a new friend amongst their family. Only there's something weird with this cute bunny. One of my all time favorites. Noticing, I read more vampire books than any other genre or well, with the same type of character. A good start to the series. Love the duo of Harold the dog and Chester the cat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very nice and funny book for all ages!
Booksniffer13 More than 1 year ago
Ok so I'm not a child..But I still enjoyed this book and the books after. It's light and adorable and makes you want a vampiric bunny! I strongly encourage reading for all ages. If you see this book whether you're a kid or a parent I recommend it whole-heartedly.
Edna84 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book as a child it was my first foray into horror even tho it is more cutesy than scary.
Ann_W More than 1 year ago
Years ago, I bought "Bunnicula" for the daughter of my best friend. Everyone in the family thought that the book was great, and I subsequently bought more books about the same characters. I love it that there is always a mystery about what Bunnicula actually is. The story is a lot of fun.
mollymoo More than 1 year ago
this book seems scary but it isn't and it is.but it is super funny.the characters are good but just be sure to read the editor's note. you will understand it more well not really but it tells who the narrator is and is the start of the funnyness. so at first the bunnyjust seems soooo cute but will you believe that when he can get out of his cage by himself. and don't you find it werid that the rabbit was found in a dracula movie at the back seat of the theature? huh, huh isn't that a little strange. well you will have to find out if their is something wrong with the cute little or if it is all made up and he is just a regular rabbit after all. so read the book,READ THE BOOK. thank you
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so fantastic it will push you to the end of your seet! harold a dog and chester a cat try to find the truth about bunnicula. is it true is he a vampbunny? Or is he a normal living bunny? This book is filled with mstery packed fun. to find what happends next go to your local book store and check it out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Loved all of the bunnicula books! Subtly witty! Even as a teenager, I had to go back and read them! Still Great!