Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale Of Mystery

ISBN-10: 1416928170
ISBN-13: 9781416928171
Author: Howe, James
Illustrated by: Daniel, Alan
Interest Level: 2-5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: May 2010

Copyright: 2006

Page Count: 128

Series: Bunnicula

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Interest Level

Grades 2-5

Reading Level

Guided Reading: Q
Lexile: 700L
Accelerated Reader Level: 4.2
Accelerated Reader Points: 2.0
Grade Level Equivalent: 4

BISAC Subjects

Rabbits; Fiction

Rabbits; Fiction

Rabbits; Fiction

Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.
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Michelle Abeln, Collection Development Specialist at Booksource

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3/25/2013 3:23:48 PM
Beware the hare! James and Deborah Howe’s classic children’s book of horror and vegetables is as fun to read now as it was when I was a kid in the 80s.

One dark and stormy night, the Monroe family returns from an outing to the local movie theater with a new pet—the quickly christened Bunnicula (named in honor of the film they saw: Dracula). Chester, the well-read family cat, is immediately suspicious of the outwardly cuddly bunny. With his nighttime eating habits, unbunny-like fangs and black and white coloring that looks like a cape, Bunnicula seems to be a dead ringer for his famous namesake. Chester engages family dog Harold (who is also the narrator of this chilling tale) to help expose Bunnicula’s vegetable sucking tendencies before harm comes to the Monroes. Chester does his research, and uses classic anti-vampire techniques (including garlic pendants and, in the book’s funniest scene, a heart-pounding “steak”) to try to rid the household of the soul-stealing bunny. However, alls well that ends well-Bunnicula goes on an all juice diet, and Chester seeks therapy through self-help books (“Finding Yourself Through Screaming A Lot”).

Originally published in 1979, Bunnicula is still a best-selling title. Its lack of dated pop culture references allows it to be relatable to modern readers. While some younger children might find a few of the scenes a little scary, the fact that the object of terror is a cute and fuzzy bunny dials down the terror quite a bit.

Bunnicula is an excellent choice for guided reading groups because, although silly, it has several components that make it a standout for classroom instruction. For example, the authors use classic literary references as well as high-level vocabulary to stimulate readers. Because the subject matter is familiar, readers are able to explore valuable comprehension strategies such as making connections about pets and family dynamics and predicting outcomes (What will happen to Chester when he covers himself in garlic?). This book’s humor and mystery make it an extremely enjoyable read, and what’s better than watching students practice essential reading skills while having a blast at the same time?