Parents' Guide to

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

By S. K. List, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Farcical, highly readable vampire rabbit tale.

Book James Howe Horror 1979
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 8+
age 8+

Bunnicula: A Rabbit - Tale of Mystery Parent Guide

This book is the first book in the "Bunnicula" book series. It is about a family finding a bunny and then, a cat assuming that the bunny is a vampire bunny using a few books and investigation results as evidence. Bunnicula is a bunny with red eyes, white and sharp fangs, and a black spot on his fur shaped like a cape. This book was created by James Howe and his late wife, Deborah Howe in 1977 before Deborah Howe's death from a type of cancer in 1978. The book was first published in 1979. There is a cartoon animated TV series based on the Bunnicula book series with the same title. Unlike other vampires, Bunnicula drinks juice from fruits and vegetables instead of blood. Funny dark comedy. This book is fictional. That's why the dog in the book loves CHOCOLATE cupcakes and survives after eating them. It is a known fact that in real life, dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate because it has an ingredient (caffeine) that could stop their hearts and they could die. Chocolate is poisonous to DOGS. Summary: "Though scoffed by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.", according to the book in the summary section on the page after the second title page. Violence: Not much. When Chester the cat, asked Harold the dog, to read a book out loud, Chester thought that the book said that they needed a "steak" to stab Bunnicula to death when it was a "stake" that they needed. Chester asked Harold if the steak was sharp enough to kill Bunnicula as he tried to kill him. Chester's intentions were violent. Chester at some point succeedes at avoiding Bunnicula from eating fruits and vegetables for days and when Harold the dog tries to help Bunnicula get some food to eat, Chester jumped and pounced on Bunnicula. Bunnicula escapes. Rude humor: A little. Positive messages/educational value: Some life lessons and morals about friendship. Some details about fictional creatures known as vampires. Lessons on what is right and wrong.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (4 ):

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 30 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 several sequels.

Book Details

  • Author: James Howe
  • Illustrator: Alan Daniel
  • Genre: Horror
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: January 1, 1979
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
  • Number of pages: 148
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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