Bunnicula, authored by James and Deborah Howe, is the only book written for children that I read over and over again. Bunnicula is the only book that with talking animals as the characters that I like. Bunnicula is the only book where I laugh every time I read it. Bunnicula is the only book I’ve ever read that had the subject of vampires in it.
In my opinion, it’s a pretty awesome book, but don’t let the vampire references scare you.
Now, before anyone starts accusing me of not liking books with talking animals, let me say: I like Narnia, and Bunnicula. Admitted, those are the only books with talking animals that I like, but if a talking animal is not a main character, I can stand that.
Disclosure over, here’s the premise:
This immensely popular children’s story is told from the point of view of a dog named Harold. It all starts when Harold’s human family, the Monroes, goes to see the movie Dracula, and young Toby accidentally sits on a baby rabbit wrapped in a bundle on his seat. How could the family help but take the rabbit home and name it Bunnicula? Chester, the literate, sensitive, and keenly observant family cat, soon decides there is something weird about this rabbit. Pointy fangs, the appearance of a cape, black-and-white coloring, nocturnal habits … it sure seemed like he was a vampire bunny. When the family finds a white tomato in the kitchen, sucked dry and colorless, well … Chester becomes distraught and fears for the safety of the family. “Today, vegetables. Tomorrow … the world!” he warns Harold. But when Chester tries to make his fears known to the Monroes, he is completely misunderstood, and the results are truly hilarious.
Harold: Harold is an excellent portrayal of how a dog might think. He loves chocolate, and while he discloses that chocolate might harm other dogs, he eats the snack whenever Toby, his owner, can give him some (especially chocolate cupcakes!) He is pretty down to earth, until Chester gets him excited about something or other. He has to put up with Chester’s crazy, but literary-inspired ideas regarding the mysterious bunny. He narrates the book, but humans can’t understand the animals, making for some hilarious situations.
Chester: Harold’s friend, the cat. Chester is remarkably cat-like, with one exception: he loves anything literary. When not napping, he’s reading a classic. Harold is annoying to him, but they share a cute friendship.
Bunnicula: The strange and mysterious bunny who sucks the “blood” of vegetables. He does not talk.
After the Monroes bring home a bunny with fangs, Chester starts watching the strange rodent. He realizes the rabbit is nocturnal, so he stays up one night to watch. The bunny somehow wasn’t in his cage. Chester heard a noise in the kitchen, “And guess who was happily hopping out of the kitchen?” The next morning, all the vegetables were white.
Chester, once convinced, convinces Harold that the vampire bunny will kill the whole family. It turns out that there are several ways to get rid of a vampire, according to Dracula. Something about garlic and was that stakes?
Despite the Dracula/vampire inspirations, Bunnicula is more of a comedy. The actual representations of killing vampires are twisted, and Chester’s crazy murder attempts on the mysterious bunny are laughable. My youngest brother listened to it when he was seven, and loved it. If you can, listen to it on audio. The performer does an awesome job with Chester’s voice especially!
Writing: 5/5 stars
Characters: 5/5 stars
Thematic stuff (1 none, 5 high): 1.5
Level of Violence (1 being none, 5 being high): 1.5
Language: (1 being none, 5 being high): 1
A fun book that is worth your time!