by James and Deborah Howe (1979)
Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery is a perfect introduction to the realm of mysteries. It’s a suspenseful who-done-it and an absolute page turner. Read to Them invites your students and families to devour it – canine teeth first! It’s a tale both quirky – and smirky (full of puns and jokes and wordplay). It’s made to order for schools that want their community to catch “the reading bug” of family literacy.
Deborah and James Howe have artistically crafted a humorous, one-of-a-kind story. A “typical American family” faces very peculiar, unexplainable circumstances. A “mysterious bundle” is brought into the family fold, turns normal life upside down, and spins it around like a snow globe. Bunnicula ‘looks’ scary, but is really a case of misunderstanding, in which the family pets have more perceptive insight into the depths of the mystery that is Bunnicula than their human family members. The narrator is in fact the family dog, a technique that makes Bunnicula both engaging and ‘safe’ for all readers.
At just about 100 pages, Bunnicula is a terrific choice for a school that wants an introductory title and doesn’t want to do “traditional.” Bunnicula is light-hearted, absurd, mysterious, engaging, and rewarding. If you venture into the mystery of Bunnicula, you’ll never look at carrots the same way again.