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Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

Book review by
S. K. List, Common Sense Media
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery Book Poster Image
Farcical, highly readable vampire rabbit tale.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bunnicula is about a vampire rabbit, but the horror aspect of the plot is mild. The sketchy illustrations are incidental. It's a wacky story, told from the point of view of a dog named Harold and sprinkled with goofy one-liners, that will captivate kids from the great title to the last page. Victor Garber reads the audiobook version.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTending Bloom April 9, 2008

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 ca... Continue reading
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 se... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 2, 2010
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

I think any age could read this book and still enjoy it!!!

This book was so amazingly good I had all my friends read it!!!

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 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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • 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

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