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Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

4.5 173
by Deborah Howe, James Howe, Lou Jacobi (Performed by)

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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


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.

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

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Bunnicula Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.55(w) x 7.01(h) x 0.77(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

What happened I do not remember now. Not all of it, or even most. Who said what to whom, and why. The details of the days. But the days themselves, these I remember as one long day passing inevitably into one long night.<

I am speaking of the days that stretched from July 1977 to June 1978, but the story begins before then -- in the spring of 1977, although I can't recall the day or week or month; earlier still, in the fall of 1969, the fall of 1964, in August of 1946. I was born that month, on the second day, in Oneida, New York, the youngest of four brothers and the only one to be born in a hospital and not at home. Debbie, the first child of two, was born ten days later, on the twelfth of August, in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. We met at Boston University in the fall of 1964, married in New York City in the fall of 1969, and began to write a children's book in the spring of 1977.

It was evening, just after dinner, when we sat down at our kitchen table, the wooden table I had painted a lustrous tomato-red soon after we'd married, and began to write.

I still have the scrap of paper from that evening. The misspelling and handwriting are hers. Oh, yes, most definitely her scrawl, so like tangled hair it was sometimes impossible to decipher. Were we drinking coffee? There's a stain on the paper that leads me to believe we were. Why do I see her standing at the kitchen sink, her head cocked to the side, her thick black hair falling over one shoulder? Why do I hear her laughing? Is it because she laughed so easily, or is it because in writing the book we were just then beginning, we would laugh so often? I see -- or imagine I see -- the look in her eyes that said: Who are we to think we can write a book? Who were we indeed?

Text Copyright © 1979 by James Howe

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 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 173 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absoloutly love this because most childrens books dont have pictures and take forever to read! This took no time and ithas somepictures andits hillarious you'll love it! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for kids
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this book and its really good.It makes you sad,laugh & read all the books
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a good book to read. I gave it five stars becuse I really understand it.
PonySwimGal More than 1 year ago
I first read this book nearly 25 years ago and I don't remember ever reading a funnier or more delightful book. Children love it and adults can revel in the word games the author has his main characters use. The pen-and-ink drawings compliment the story beautifully. My adult friend and I read this book out loud to each other and periodically had to stop to wipe the tears of laughter and to catch our breath. I HIGHLY recommend this book to both children and adults. ENJOY!
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&rsquo;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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it
Simone van Hove More than 1 year ago
This is an awsome book best book ive ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would actually rate like 20 stars but i cant do that. Best book anyone has ever read. My dad says that he read this before. How i got this book is that i was searching things earlier and dad said to look up Bunnicula. I did and I didnt put the nook down until I finished it. I would say that i read it like 10 times a week for two weeks. I would recomnend this to anyone who can read. Of course if you couldnt read you wouldnt be reading this review!! And if you cant read have someone read it to you. The book i mean. Not this review. But if you want someone to read this review be my guest. This book makes me want to get a bunny myself. And my dog Rosco and cat Bella. My mom says Bella meeans beautiful. Im going to quit yapping and let you read the book. Trust me its a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This takes me back to first grade library storytime sitting at the table surrounded by classmates, listening to the antics of these three characters. Years later I found this at a Borders snatched it up and read it once I was home. It's still great at any age. Today I read this book to my daughter at our own little storytime ahh it comes full circle. So get this you won't be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book my teachers read this book to all of our grade and there is like 100 kids in our grade total everyone loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a book reader read this book. I'm 9 and i read it"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this to my children, several times, and they loved it. I now have the great pleasure to read it to my grand children. What a joy and honor. We will have many happy hours together. I am so grateful it's still available. Enjoy!
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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