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Nighty-Nightmare (Bunnicula Series)

Nighty-Nightmare (Bunnicula Series)

4.3 12
by James Howe, Leslie Morrill (Illustrator)

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An overnight camping trip! Not Harold's idea of fun. Too many mosquitoes, ticks and cockleburs. But when the Monroe family set out, their faithful dog Harold was with them, mostly because he remembered that camping could also bring s'mores and toasted marshmallows. Howie, the other family dog, and Chester the cat were also included in the trip. Only Chester thought


An overnight camping trip! Not Harold's idea of fun. Too many mosquitoes, ticks and cockleburs. But when the Monroe family set out, their faithful dog Harold was with them, mostly because he remembered that camping could also bring s'mores and toasted marshmallows. Howie, the other family dog, and Chester the cat were also included in the trip. Only Chester thought the idea was completely insane. The woods, he informed Harold, were not only full of cockleburs and ticks, but of spirits, evil spirits who prey on the innocent. And on this, the worst night of the year -- St. George's Eve, when all spirits are set loose -- who knew what could happen.

What Harold knew was that Chester was a well read, over-stimulated cat, full of weird ideas. He did not take Chester's worries too seriously. He had s'more to think about. But then, the Monroes set up camp near two strange men and their even stranger dog, and things began to happen that made even Harold wonder. Could Chester be right?

This begins a long night, full of terrors and alarms, full of Chester's horrifying tale of how Bunnicula, the vampire bunny, was born and came to America, full of storms and a total sense of danger; and at the end came surprises that even Chester could not have predicted.

Once again, the Monroe family may be the victims of evil forces or only of Chester's strange imagination. But whichever, the result is suspenseful and very, very funny.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this campsite adventure, part of the Bunnicula series, "humor is brilliantly blended with vampire lore," said PW. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
When the Monroes decide to go on an overnight camping trip in the woods, they meet two peculiar characters, Bud and Spud and their dog, Dawg. Chester, the Monroe's cat with the overactive imagination, is sure these fellas are up to no good. Dawg takes Chester, puppy Howie and narrator Harold into the woods and announces that they are lost. This convinces Chester that Bud and Spud intend to harm the Monroes. That night he tells the three dogs "a hare-raising tale" of two brothers from Transylvania and their vampire rabbits. In the morning light, the mystery of Bud and Spud is solved. Bunnicula fans will enjoy this addition to the series. Humorous wordplay and puns are interwoven with suspense, making this ideal for the newly independent reader ready for chapter books. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6 It's another outing for the companions of Bunnicula (Atheneum, 1979) the (supposedly) vampire rabbit. This time, they are on a camping trip with the Monroes, their cheerfully oblivious owners. Chester suspects danger from the outset, and his worst suspicions are confirmed when the Monroes set up camp near Bud, Spud, and their dog, Dawg, a sinister threesome right out of Deliverance. When Dawg leads Howie, Harold, and Chester on a chase deep into the surrounding forest and they become lost, Chester tells them a scary story to lull Dawg to sleep so that they can escape to rescue the Monroes who, they are sure, are in mortal danger. The story, of course, turns out to be about Bunnicula, Chester's favorite subject, and his origins, which turn out to be similar to the plot of any standard vampire movie and which, curiously, seem to involve Bud and Spud. Dawg brings about logical explanations which convince even Chester until he learns about Pete's secret merit badge project: breeding Bunnicula. . . . This fourth story in the series is the weakest, relying too much on readers' familiarity with vampire movie cliches and tolerance for weak puns. The journey into Bunnicula's roots is labored at best. The central conceit of this is done wittily but is getting threadbare. Is Chester right or merely hysterical? Readers would like to know. Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
From the Publisher
"Humor is brilliantly blended with vampire lore...a suspenseful, well-paced read aloud." -- Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Bunnicula Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.60(d)
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

When the Monroes arrived right after us, the man by the fire looked up.

"Well, howdy," he said. "You folks out camping?"

"We...we thought we'd camp over there," Mrs. Monroe said, pointing to a sandy patch near the water's edge. "That is, if you don't mind."

"Mind? Heck, no. We never do get to see people in these parts. I'm Bud. And that there is Spud."

Spud, I thought. How fitting.

The Monroes introduced themselves and us. Spud looked everybody over, turned the knife in his hands, and spat on the ground.

"Nice-looking animals you got there," Bud said, wiping his hands on the back of his jeans. "Yes'm. Nice looking. Now, you take Dawg, he's seen better days. He cain't help it, he's been around by life, and sometimes he jes gets downright mean and orn'ry. But he's a good dawg, Dawg is."

"That's your dog's name?" said Mr. Monroe. "Dog?"

"Dawg," said Bud.

He flipped the fish in the frying pan. Spud spat. Dawg dragged himself to his feet and, drool and all, headed in our direction.

"He looks a little like Max," I commented, trying to cheer myself by bringing to mind a friendly bulldog of our acquaintance.

"Yeah, the way a rattler looks like a garter snake. Happy Saint George's Day," Chester said, and the hairs continued to rise all the way down my back.

"What kind of mutt do you call yourself?" Dawg growled as he came closer. His teeth were stained and pitted like old linoleum.

"Nonviolent," I said, hoping he wouldn't catch the tremor in my voice.

He snorted, sending a waft of rancid breath my way, and started to circle me, sniffing. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's this humiliating sniffing routine that passes for a handshake in the dog world. I would have suggested that he "give me five," but I was a little too nervous. Besides, I didn't have the feeling Dawg was the kind of old dog who was keen to learn new tricks. In fact, I didn't have the feeling Dawg was too keen at all.

"Watch this," he said, when he'd tired of sniffing. He sauntered over to the campfire, stopping only when he was so close that his mangy fur took on a red glow. I exchanged puzzled glances with Chester and Howie, wondering what it was we were supposed to be watching.

The Monroes, meanwhile, had moved down the slope to their campsite. Bud, who had gone back to his fish, ignored Dawg, while Spud just stared off into space, slowly turning his knife in his hands. After a moment, Dawg barked. The two men looked up and Bud started to shout, "Lookee, Spud. Hot dawg! Hot dawg!" His wild laughter made him sound like a demented goose. From the way Dawg and Spud curled their lips, I gathered that this was meant to be a big joke. Suddenly, I had the feeling I knew how prehistoric cavemen might have entertained themselves. I decided maybe television wasn't such a bad invention after all.

"Gee, Uncle Harold," Howie said, "What do you think?"

"I think Chester's right," I replied. "The woods are full of spirits tonight."

"Evil spirits?"

"Stupid spirits," I said.

Chester mumbled something, but I couldn't hear him over the sound of the can opener in the distance. Dinner was about to be served, and I wasn't going to miss it.

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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Nighty-Nightmare 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love nighty-nightmare but it should be longer.It was a very cute book.My favorite book is Howlday-inn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only reason that my son gave it 4 stars, instead of 5, was because he loved it so much that we wished it had been longer, like James Howe's other books. It is the third-best Bunnicula book, according to him, behind The Celery Stalks At Midnight (best) and Howliday Inn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and also have on my galixy note 8.0, and i also love reading this book while listening to celery stalks at midnight ( disk 5 of howlday inn album {5/6}) on my portable dvd/cd player
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Well, this was a quick but at times kind of creepy ish read. It was okay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love your reviews they have a hole lot of detail it realy grabed me and slaped me in the face p.s.i need to check out the website!
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Mr. Monroe--with a bit of help from Harold, the book-writing dog--has gotten it into his head that an overnight camping trip is just the type of adventure the family needs. So the Monroes pack up and head out into the woods, bringing along their faithful pets (excepting the vampire bunny, Bunnicula, who's missed out on yet another adventure by being boarded with friends).

Both Harold and the excitable pup, Howie, look forward to the fun of the woods and cozy fireside time with the family (Harold especially because of the promise of s'mores). But the ever-reluctant Chester the cat swears that, with the approach of Saint George's Day, all that awaits their family is doom at the hands of evil spirits lurking behind the trees.

It's easy for Harold to dismiss Chester's notions until the Monroes run across two strange men and their brain-dead bulldog, Dawg. When Dawg leads the pets away from the humans only to get them lost in the woods, Harold and Chester come up with a plan to sneak away and save their family. However, they have to put Dawg to sleep with a story first, and Chester's chosen tale of Bunnicula's origins makes for one creepy bedtime lullaby.

Remembering this book from when I originally read it as a child, this one still sticks in my mind as the most boring of the BUNNICULA series. The story-within-a-story is rather distracting, and lacks that bit of credibility that makes the rest of the books so appealing.

Still, if you like a good parody of the old monster movie origin stories, this would be the book to go to.