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 whodunnit and an absolute page turner, both quirky and smirky, full of puns and jokes and wordplay. Read to Them invites your students and families to devour it – canine teeth first!  With a fast-paced plot filled with humor, it is 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.  The Monroes, a “typical American family,” face very peculiar, unexplainable circumstances. A “mysterious bundle with glistening eyes” is brought into the family fold, turning normal life upside down, and spinning it around like a snow globe. While the cover of Bunnicula looks scary, it is really a story of misunderstanding, in which the family pets have more perceptive insight into the depths of the mystery than their human family members do.  The narrator is Harold, the family dog, a technique that makes Bunnicula both engaging and approachable for all readers.

At just about 100 pages, Bunnicula is a terrific choice for a school that wants an introductory title with a little edge to it.  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.  And, your families will be excited to move on to the rest of the series – a great way to build momentum for family literacy.