November 4, 2023 11:25 AM - Subscribe

Before it's too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household -- a suspicious-looking bunny named Bunnicula!

The tale is narrated by Harold the dog who drops a manuscript off at a local bookstore. He shares how Bunnicula came to be a member of the Monroe household after being found at the local movie theater with a note (in ancient Romanian) pinned to him. But the new member of the household has some strange habits and Harold and Chester must keep the Monroes safe.

Written by Deborah and James Howe. They met as freshmen studying theater at Boston University and moved to NYC to work in the theater. While Deborah sadly died the year before the book was published, James changed careers as a result of Bunnicula's staggering success. He has written several other Bunnicula books and over 90 children's books.
posted by miss-lapin (20 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I was introduced to this book (as an adult) by a friend who is a teacher. I love(d) it!! so cute and funny. I was Bunnicula for Halloween one year when I had a big fancy party to go to (with this friend) imagine if you will a cross between Dracula and a Playboy Bunny...
posted by supermedusa at 11:57 AM on November 4, 2023 [4 favorites]

Today, vegetables. Tomorrow, the world!

So good.
posted by kyrademon at 12:09 PM on November 4, 2023 [6 favorites]

This was one of my very favorite books as a kid and I'm always glad at how popular it is online.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:25 PM on November 4, 2023 [5 favorites]

This was one of my all time favourite books as a child, and I remember the scene with Harold sneezing (for a reason I can't remember) that had me howling!
posted by Kitteh at 1:33 PM on November 4, 2023

I love this book, and Chester most of all.

The various sequels are hit and miss, but if you have a child of the appropriate age, you should get them the box set for sure.

(I like to pretend cauliflower is vampirized broccoli to this day.)
posted by the primroses were over at 1:41 PM on November 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

I loved the concept of this, albeit I wish Bunnicula had more...personality...since Harold and Chester stood out so much (particularly Chester, King of 'Tude). The sequels in particular didn't seem to have much to do with the bunny, and as a bunny lover I wanted more. But at the same time, I dunno, writing for a bunny might be hard?
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:51 PM on November 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

I loved loved loved this as a kid. Might have to find a copy now.
posted by porpoise at 1:52 PM on November 4, 2023

I reread this recently and was pleased & surprised to find that there are jokes in it for grownups too (I'm sure the one about the mortgage went right over my head as a kid).
posted by johnofjack at 2:14 PM on November 4, 2023

OMG! There's a 3 season Bunnicula television show!
posted by porpoise at 3:16 PM on November 4, 2023 [2 favorites]

writing for a bunny might be hard

Richard Adams would beg to differ
posted by supermedusa at 9:34 AM on November 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yeah, good point. Well, if the cat and dog have a voice, why can't the rabbit?!

(Probably would lose the mystery if Bunnicula could explain his cravings for...veggie juice, I suppose?)
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:50 PM on November 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

DRAIN through the carrots and
FREAK out some ferrets
red EYES on the front of
posted by StarkRoads at 10:06 AM on November 6, 2023 [7 favorites]

I got Bunnicula and The Celery Stalks at Midnight from the same school book fair, and I can't really recall differences between them. I didn't get Howliday Inn and Nighty-Nightmare until a few years later, and I remember Nighty-Nightmare much more vividly. The creepy Bud and Spud are very well-drawn characters.

"Buford here is an architect," said Mama, "and Spaulding practices law."
"And one of these days, he'll get it right!" laughed Bud.

posted by infinitewindow at 10:35 AM on November 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

I loved, loved, loved this book so much as a kid (our teacher read it to the class over several weeks in Grade 3 or 4 -- she read us a few novels over the course of the year, from what I remember), but had completely forgotten about it until I saw this post!

I should track down a copy to read to my kids.
posted by asnider at 12:39 PM on November 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

Bunnicula... miss-lapin
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 1:39 PM on November 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

James Howe is married to someone who used to be one of my authors (he is a lawyer who also writes on legal topics; they married in 2011, not too long after same-sex marriage become legal in Vermont, though they live in NY). When I had each of my two children, now 21 and 19, they sent me autographed copies of some of James's books picture books, which was very sweet of them. Some of our favorites were the first two "Horace and Morris, but Mostly Dolores" books (Horace and Morris, but Mostly Dolores (1999) Horace and Morris Join the Chorus, but What About Dolores (2002)) which we read about a million times (I still say "a girl mouse must do what a girl mouse must do" from the first book). Houndsley and Catina are also cute books.

They sent Bunnicula books when the kids got older. Loved the vampire bunny but Harold the dog and Chester the cat steal the show.
posted by ceejaytee at 7:09 AM on November 7, 2023 [4 favorites]

So I recently bought a copy of Bunnicula based on the same enthusiastic nostalgia I'm seeing in these comments, thinking I would share it with my kid, but upon rereading it I was disappointed to find that Roma (they use the slur) "magic" is invoked as the reason for Bunnicula's vampirism. It just came out of nowhere in the text - no context.

I also hadn't remembered how solidly, dully heterosexual the parents were written. Mom gets no fun, she's just the Mom.

Sorry to be the dead-goater in this thread, I was just fairly bummed to revisit it and find that I don't want to give it to my kid after all.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:48 AM on November 7, 2023 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about Howe's Sebastian Barth Mysteries.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:10 AM on November 7, 2023 [1 favorite]

These books were huge favorites of mine. Howliday Inn, where they get sent to board, is the one I particularly remember. My kid is 20 now, and while he liked a very few things I did as a kid (notably The Phantom Tollbooth), these didn't work for him 10-12 years ago.
posted by jeoc at 7:04 PM on November 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

I searched my local library and they only had e-book versions of the original novels, which isn't a great solution for my kids, but they did have a graphic novel adaptation of (I think) the first book, so I've placed a hold on that.

Graphic novels are more my oldest kid's jam anyway.
posted by asnider at 9:02 AM on November 13, 2023 [1 favorite]

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