The Celery Stalks at Midnight (Bunnicula Series)

The Celery Stalks at Midnight (Bunnicula Series)

4.3 18
by James Howe, Leslie Morrill
     
 

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CHESTER, the cat, Harold, the dog, Bunnicula, the vampire (?) rabbit, and Howie, the wirehaired dachshund puppy, return in this sequel to Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery and Howliday Inn to ask the question: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of lettuce?
Chester has just finished retelling the tale of Bunnicula to Howie, who has

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Overview

CHESTER, the cat, Harold, the dog, Bunnicula, the vampire (?) rabbit, and Howie, the wirehaired dachshund puppy, return in this sequel to Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery and Howliday Inn to ask the question: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of lettuce?
Chester has just finished retelling the tale of Bunnicula to Howie, who has just joined the Monroe family, when he discovers that Bunnicula is missing from his cage. Chester stays up all night worrying. What becomes of the vegetables Bunnicula attacks (for he is after all a vegetarian vampire)? Do they become vampire veggies serving their master's evil ways? Certain that the town is crawling with killer parsnips and homicidal heads of lettuce, Chester sets out with Harold and Howie and a box of toothpicks for spearing the little devils through the heart.
En route to finding Bunnicula, driving tiny stakes through whatever white vegetables lie in their paths and thereby saving the town of Centerville, the threesome have more than their share of adventures, including an encounter with an ill-tempered white cat named Snowball and an unexpected trip to the town dump.
Finally the strange actions of everyone in town, including Toby and Pete Monroe, convince Chester that he may be too late, that Bunnicula and his minion vegetables may have taken over the town. Chester and his merry band race to save what souls they can. But, of course, Chester has been known to be wrong before.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689309878
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
08/28/1983
Series:
Bunnicula and Friends Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,447,377
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Pop's got this . . . um, what'd you call it again, Pop?"

"Theory," Chester said.

"Oh, yeah. He's got this theory, see, that — "

"Howie, dear boy," Chester interjected, "why don't you let me tell it, hmm?"

"Oh, sure, Pop, whatever you say," replied the dachshund agreeably. He returned to chewing the corner of the rug.

Chester went on. "I have this theory, Harold, that these vegetables, once attacked, are not as harmless as one might think."

"I never thought of vegetables as harmless," I said. "Especially spinach."

"What do we know from the literature of vampirism?" he continued. Seeing that I knew nothing from the literature of vampirism, he persevered. "We know that once attacked, the vampire's victims become their master's slaves. In fact, they are transformed into zombie-vampires, the living dead, doomed to go out into the night seeking fresh bodies to satisfy their bloody cravings."

"Chester," I said softly, "is this necessary right after breakfast?"

"It can't wait," he snapped. "We have to act fast."

"To do what?" I asked. "Surely you're not saying that these vegetables . . . "

"Do they just lie there, useless, finished, dried up?" Chester interrupted. "Or does Bunnicula, like the vampires of old, have a further purpose for them? Are they his minions acting on his orders to turn the world into creatures like himself? When night falls, are they out there waiting to lure innocent victims into taking a bite? Just one bite and...BAM! You're a goner! Think of it, Harold, if Bunnicula got out last night, this entire neighborhood could be filled with killer parsnips, blood-thirsty string beans, homicidal heads of lettuce — "

"Don't forget the minions," I said.

"What?"

"The minions who are acting on his orders. Are minions like onions, Chester?"

"A minion isn't a vegetable, you dolt. A minion is a follower, a servant."

"Oh."

I reflected for a moment on Chester's new theory. That's when I noticed Howie's whimpering. The poor fellow was cowering under the coffee table.

"What's the matter, Howie?" I asked.

"I'm afraid," he answered. "What if those killer parsnips sneak up on me while I'm sleeping and sink their fangs into my neck?"

I turned to Chester. "You see where your stories are getting us? Poor Howie's scared out of his wits."

"And rightly so, if my thinking is correct."

"But it isn't correct, Chester," I replied. "It's nonsense."

"We shall see, we shall see," Chester said, pulling at the hair between his toes. "But if the people in this town start acting strangely, it could be because Bunnicula and his vegetables have succeeded in.... Sshh! Say no more."

Chester bathed himself with sudden vigor as the entire Monroe family, laden with bundles, entered the living room. It looked as if they were headed for an outing of some kind. Well, why not? I thought. It's a beautiful day for a little romp in the great out-of-doors; I was all set to join them when Chester nudged me.

"Come on," he said, "we've got some checking up to do."

"But..."

"Goodbye, Chester. Goodbye, Harold," Mrs. Monroe said from where she stood by the front door. "Try to keep Howie and each other out of trouble while we're gone. If you want to go out, you can use the pet door. There's water in your dish and — "

"Dear," Mr. Monroe said, touching his wife gently on the arm, "the boys will be fine. Besides, we won't be gone long. We'll be back this afternoon."

"Yeah," Pete said. "Anyway, how do they know what you're saying? They're just dumb animals. "

Dumb animals! I thought. Hmmph! Pete had never been above talking to us before. I wondered if he was going through a stage. These days, it seemed as if Pete went through stages faster than socks.

Toby kicked his brother in the shins. "They are not dumb animals," he cried. I made a mental note to give Toby's face the reward of a thorough licking later. "They're smarter than you are."

"Don't make me laugh." Pete snorted.

"They are too."

"Are not."

"Are too."

"Are not."

"Boys!" Mrs. Monroe cried. "Please. Let's go."

Still bickering, Pete and Toby were led out the front door by their parents.

"Goodbye, fellas," Mr. Monroe called out over his shoulder as the front door clicked shut.

"Do you think we're smarter than Pete?" I asked Chester.

"I think we are, Uncle Harold," said Howie. "Why, just last week, Toby threw a stick in the backyard and Pete didn't even know enough to chase it and bring it back in his teeth. Even I know that."

Chester gazed at Howie through half-closed lids. "Well, there's your answer, Harold," he said. "Now, come on, we've got to move."

"Where are we going?" I asked as I followed Chester through the kitchen door.

"Outside," he answered. "We've got to find that rabbit and see what damage he's already done."

One after the other, we pushed through the pet door and onto the back porch.

"Ah!" I said, inhaling deeply. "What a day! Howie, I'll race you to that tree in the corner of the yard. Whoever falls asleep fastest wins."

"But how will we know?" Howie asked.

Chester cleared his throat. "Before you two tumble off into dreamland, remember what we came out here for. Wait a minute, what's that?"

Chester bounded down the stairs and headed in the direction of the garden. Howie and I followed closely behind. We stopped about ten feet from the garden's edge.

"There!" Chester exclaimed. "Do you see what I see?"

Squinting, I made out a round white object lying several feet away.

"What's so unusual about a rock?" I asked.

Chester's body hugged the ground as he slunk through the grass. Howie, whose body hugs the ground even when he doesn't slink, waddled behind. Chester came upon the object and batted at it tentatively.

As I drew closer, he pulled himself up to his full height and proclaimed dramatically, "A beet. A...drained...white...beet!

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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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The Celery Stalks At Midnight (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
lilly_lola More than 1 year ago
The book The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe is a great book. This book is about two dogs Harold and Howie a cat Chester and a bunny Bunnicula. The bunny is missing and Chester the cat is convinced that the bunny Bunnicula is going to put all the vegetables in the world in danger of being drained out of their life juices and turn them into zombies. Then they have to figure out a way to stop him. Of course Chester has been known to be wrong before. If you want to know what happens next just read the book. You are going to love it. I recommend this to kids who love mystery books and funny books. You are going love it so much you are going to want to keep reading. These books are long but you're going to feel them like a 10 page book. These books are great. Don't miss the next serious you're going to like it. By Jenifer
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a book lover but when I saw this book I new I had to read it.When I read the book I wanted to read it again.This is a book that I will pass down to my children and grand children for years to come. I just hope that this author makes another masterpiece like this soon.
Suvorov More than 1 year ago
In the third installment of the Bunnicula series, Bunnicula escapes from his cage and vegetables are turning white again. After realizing his mistake, that you have to drive a stake through a vampire, not a steak, Chester arms himself with toothpicks and sets out to find Bunnicula and stake all vegetable victims turned into minion vampires. Of course Harold joins the crusade, along with Howie, the Monroe's newest addition to the family, who was acquired from Cheateau Bow-Wow. But things turn from bad to worse when the pets find evidence that even the Monroes themselves may have fallen victim to Bunnicula's evil plans. As with the previous books, The Celery Stalks at Night is hilarious. The newest addition to the family, Howie, is a master of puns, which makes the story all the more funny. In addition, it provides many more opportunities to discuss vocabulary, homonyms and homophones with my daughter as she doesn't always understand why the puns are funny. I love that these books are so entertaining yet intelligent, proving the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. The book was written in 2006 so it was obviously before the current sparkly lovey-dovey vampire phase, but from an adult point of view, and ignoring the fact that they are different time periods, The Celery Stalks at Midnight could be viewed as a total spoof of all the silly vampire stuff that is rampant in our culture right now. Of course, that could be complete over-interpretation on my part. Read between the lines people! Anyway, again, Howe's story is a complete success and as well as a great read aloud for the whole family. I think everyone will chuckle from time to time.
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
We bought this book from the library book sale. Chester and Harold are back, along with new partner in crime Howie. Unfortunately Bunnicula is missing, and Chester takes it upon himself to teach Harold and Howie the dangers of having a vampire bunny on the lose (in the form of veggie ghoul minions wandering around the neighborhood). So now the trio are on a mission to stake all the white vampire victim veggies they can find before they rise, and to find and imprison (or destroy) Bunnicula for good. This book is hilarious and outrageous, made more so by the fact that kids will know right away that there's some huge misunderstanding going on. It can be read if you haven't read the others first, but of course there's more enjoyment when you've followed the series so far. If you children love almost-smart animals as leads this is definitely a good "spooky" mystery series to pick up. Recommended for: 6-12 Contains: Cartoony spookiness
Guest More than 1 year ago
Centerville is a small town where nothing ever happens until vegetables start loosing their color. Chester the cat is certain that Bunnicula the bunny is behind the madness. Chester asks the two pet dogs, Harold and Howe, to help him stop Bunnicula. He is scared that Bunnicula and the white vegetables will rule the city together. Chester, Harold, and Howe begin to plot against Bunnicula and try to find a way to stop the vampire bunny before it is too late. From the very beginning I was attracted to this charming tale of three pets who felt it was their job to save their owners and twon. The story was so funy and interesting that I did not want to put it down. The Celery Stalks at Midnight was a great story that had action and mystery mixed with loyalty and friendship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an excellent book for people who have read the other books about Bunnicula. This book is a great buy and excellent for people for all ages! If you haven't read the other Bunnicula books, you should consider reading them because they are sooooooo good, you can't put the book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is worth reading and is a funny book. I loved it so I'll bet you'll love it to. You got to read it and Max is back remember him from Howliday Inn.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This is a fun series. Remembered reading the first two or was it the first book, when I was a kid. Finally got around to finish series I haven't caught up on. Another good sequel. And like the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really interesting book. I just cant stop reading it. Its funny and mysterious. I can picture whats happening in the book also.
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LaReinaDePop More than 1 year ago
The book had good pictures and good describing words. It described all of the settings.

***This review is submitted by my 10 yr. old son, A.J. Monk.***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome!Harold,Chester,and howie are soooooooooooooo funny! YOU BETTER READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!! I will kill you if you don't !!!!! Just kitten!!! HA HA HA!!!!!!!! Funny joke,huh? -Owen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome
Guest More than 1 year ago
Centerville is a small town where nothing ever happens until vegetables start loosing their color. Chester the cat is certain that Bunnicula the bunny is behind the madness. Cheser asks the two pet dogs, Harold and Howe, to help him stop Bunnicula. He is scared that Bunnicula and the white vegetables will rule the city together. Chester, Harold, and Howe begin to plot against Bunnicula and try to find a way to stop the vampire bunny before it is too late. From the very beginning I was attracted to this charming tale of three pets who felt it was their job to save their owners and town. The story was so funny and interesting that I did not want to put it down. This was a great story that had action and mystery mixed with loyalty and friendship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The third book in the Bunnicula series, Chester, Harold, and Howie are trying to kill all the white vegetables before they become vampires themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't read it yet but i preordered it :(