Return to Howliday Inn (Bunnicula Series)by James Howe, Victor Garber
The Monroes have gone on vacation, once again leaving Harold, Chester, and Howie at Chateau Bow-Wow, which Chester aptly dubbed "Howliday Inn" during their last stay there. The motley crew of boarders may have changed, but not the creepy goings-on at Howliday Inn. A ghostly voice, buried bones, and a collar with the name "Rosebud" on it suggest that murder may have been added to the services offered at the kennel. A pair of yuppie puppies from posh Upper Centerville, two cat burglars (sisters-in-crime) named Felony and Miss Demeanor, a melancholy Great Dane named Hamlet, and a weasel named, well, The Weasel, join the Monroe pets in getting to the bottom of the mysterious happenings. But will they be able to escape the same fate that may have befallen Rosebud?
Read an Excerpt
It was the third straight day of rain. The third day of listening to Mr. Monroe whistle the score of The Phantom of the Opera through his teeth while indexing his collection of meatless soup recipes. The third day of Mrs. Monroe's saying, increasingly less cheerfully, "Channel Six says it's going to clear by morning." The third day of Pete whining about what a rotten summer it had been and Toby asking When was it going to stop because how could he try his new skateboard? and Were they going to go on vacation even if it kept raining? and Why couldn't they ever rent the movies he wanted at the video store?
Not that the Monroes were the only ones getting, shall we say, edgy. No, even we pets -- we who ordinarily exemplify a calm acceptance of fate to which humans can merely aspire -- even we were losing it. My first inkling of this came when I found Howie racing around the basement on his little dachshund legs going, "Vroom, vroom."
"Uh, Howie, what are you doing?" I asked.
"It's the challenge of my career, Uncle Harold," Howie panted excitedly. "I'm chasing hubcaps at the Indianapolis Five Hundred."
I would have had a little reality chat with Howie then and there if I hadn't caught myself that very morning gazing into the mirror on Mrs. Monroe's closet door and wondering if the time hadn't come for me to try something different with my hair.
Even Bunnicula, usually the calmest of us all, had taken to hopping around his cage as if the floor were covered with hottar and twitching his nose so rapidly you would have thought he'd suffer from whisker burnout.
Surprisingly, only Chester seemed unaffected by the elements. Or perhaps I should say that if he was affected, it was not in the way one would have anticipated. As the rest of us grew more irritable, Chester mellowed.
"How do you do it?" I moaned on the third night, as the rain continued to pelt the windows and I tried in vain to find an acceptable spot for settling down to sleep. At this point, every square inch of carpet looked the same and I was desperate for a change. Chester, meanwhile, was curled up happily shedding on his favorite brown velvet armchair, an open book in front of him and a contented-on-its-way-to-becoming-smug smile on his face.
"Why aren't you going crazy like everybody else?" I demanded. "What's your secret?"
His smile grew more knowing. "Books," he said, with a nod to the one in front of him, "are not only windows to the world, dear, Harold, they are pathways to inner peace."
I shook my head. "I've tried books," I said. "'Fifteen minutes and all I ended up with was cardboard breath."
"Try reading them instead of chewing them," Chester advised.
"Oh." This hadn't occurred to me.
Chester is a big reader. The problem is that his reading often gets us into trouble -- especially considering the kinds of books he likes to read.
"So what are you reading about now?" I asked. "The supernatural?"
"The paranormal," he said.
"Well, that's a relief. Pair of normal what?"
"No, Harold, not a 'pair of normal,' the paranormal. How shall I explain this? The paranormal are experiences that are...beyond explanation. Like Bunnicula, for example."
Chester believes our little bunny is a vampire.
"I'm still convinced he's part werewolf. That's no ordinary howl on that dog."
"Uh-huh," I said.
"Or,"Chester went on, if I may use the expression with regard to a cat, doggedly, "haven't you ever felt that something was about to happen, you just knew it in your bones, and then, bam! it happened?"
A chill ran down my spine. "Chester!" I cried. "I had a paranormal experience just the other night."
Chester's eyes lit up. "Really? Tell me about it, Harold."
"Well, it was after dinner and I was lying over there by the sofa, where Howie's sleeping now and...I was yawning and I felt my eyes growing heavy..."
"Yes? Go on."
"And I had this overpowering feeling that I was about to..."
"What, Harold? Oh, this is really exciting. Go ahead."
"That I was about to fall asleep. And I did."
Chester looked at me for a long time without speaking. "And do you have the feeling that you're about to experience pain?" he asked at last.
"You mean right now? Well, no."
The book fell off the chair. It landed on my paw.
"Ow!" I cried.
"Never discount the paranormal," were Chester's parting words, and he jumped down and headed toward the kitchen in search of a midnight snack.
I wanted to whimper but no one was around or awake enough to hear. This made me ask myself the question, If a tree falls on a dog in the forest, does the dog make a sound? I was eager to share this provocative conversation starter with Chester when my gaze fell on the open pages at my feet. I began to read.
Harriet M. of Niskayuna, New York, reports the fascinating case of the phantom telephone conversation. "I had been talking with my sister, Shirley for seventeen minutes late one afternoon before I noticed that the phone plug was disconnected," she writes. "The next day I told Shirley what had happened and when. Stunned, she informed me that she had had oral surgery just two hours prior to the phantom conversation and her mouth was wired shut. She would have been incapable of speaking to me even if the phone had been hooked up!"Return to Howliday Inn. Copyright © by James Howe. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Incredibly, Harriet herself suffered such extreme tooth pain the following day that she too was forced to undergo emergency oral surgery. While under the effects of anesthesia, she recalled her sisters words during their nonexistent (??)...
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Return to Howliday Inn was an awesome book. Three friends named Chester, Harold and Howie were boarding at the Chateau Bow-Wow because their family, the Monroes, were on vacation. Here, they meet two 'cat burglars,' a sad Great Dane, two yuppy puppies, a weasel, a poodle, and a parrot. While snooping on the grounds of the chateau, they find some bones and next to them, a red collar imprinted with the name, Rosebud. They try to find out the secret of Chateau Bow-Wow. If you would like to find out the secret of Chateau Bow-Wow, read this hilarious book.
Wonderful! I want to get the other ones I dont have! I love all the animals and the descriptions! I think the ending has a great surprise twist! It may be short but it is still amazing!!
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I rilly need some one to tell me the endd!!!!!please rite a sumery of the book!!!""
Once again, the Monroes are going on vacation, and Harold and Chester find themselves back at Chateau Bow-wow.
Of the three pets (not including Bunnicula, who again gets to stay with friends rather than at the creepy "Howliday Inn"), only Howie the dachshund puppy is excited to be there, since it is, after all, where he was born. Harold and Chester, however, are understandably wary of the place, given that, the last time they were there, they had a kidnapping/murder mystery to solve.
Even with a new set of residents at the Chateau, things don't prove any different this time around. At once, the pets come across a mysterious voice begging to be set free, and a pile of bones that might have once been a former boarder! "Rosebud," the ghost of a Yorkshire terrier, swears that there is a terrible secret inside the Chateau Bow-wow, which ultimately led to her demise.
It's up to Harold, Chester, and the rest of the animals to solve the mystery...or escape before it's too late.
As with the first HOWLIDAY INN, a hilarious and varied cast of animals move the story along swiftly towards an exciting conclusion. This is definitely not one to miss if you're a BUNNICULA fan.
It Had me laufing. I thought It was really funny My favrote part was' Chester: Harold Do you feel like your going to have a paranormal experience? Harold: You mean right now, No. Chester pushes a book off of the chair and onto harolds paw Harold: Ow!' To me that was the best part ever.