Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

Common Sense Media says

Farcical, highly readable vampire rabbit tale.





What parents need to know


One silly scene where the cat attempts to dispatch Bunnicula by pounding a steak (get it?) into his heart.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is about a vampire rabbit, but the horror aspect of the plot is mild. The sketchy illustrations are incidental, and a wacky story sprinkled with goofy one-liners will captivate kids from the great title to the last page.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Is the bunny hutch harboring a vampire? The Monroes' pets are on patrol for the answer. Farcical and highly readable, this book wins its audience with silly situations, an amiable flirtation with daring subject matter, and eccentric behavior dropped into a conventional setting.

Is it any good?


Thousands of young readers have given this book their approval, and they're sure to be joined by thousands more -- with good reason. In fact, kids with even a smidgeon of attraction to horror will gobble this book up. And for over 20 years, they already have. One typical older fan remembers the book vividly: "It's funny, creative, and just silly enough not to be stupid. The animals are well characterized, too, in the way they talk. It's a great book."

The lighthearted inspiration that led Deborah and James Howe to almost daydream this book into reality shines through its pages, charming and amusing the reader. The intelligent Chester and his down-to-earth chum, Harold, go their separate ways over the dangers the fanged bunny brings into their home. But their differences are resolved in the end, with the vampire mystery lingering just enough to support … a sequel. (Several of them!)

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bunnies going bad. Why is it funny instead of scary? Can you think of other creatures that would make terrible zombies or closet monsters or boogie men?

Book details

Author:James Howe
Illustrator:Alan Daniel
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 1, 1979
Number of pages:148
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

This review of Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 5 year old Written byhopemcg February 20, 2012

Great to read out loud

I read this to my 5 year old. She really loved it. There were quite a few jokes that went over her head, but she understood it and we have kept reading the series.
Kid, 9 years old April 2, 2010

for tweens

awsome book!
Adult Written byTending Bloom April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Very funny

I laughed out loud. Harold is the funniest canine around. Chester is a hoot too. I was concerned about this being about vampires but it really is a dog and cat and rabbit story. Very well written and easy to read. I think all 3rd and 4th graders should read it. White veggies.....what a hoot.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide