From Publishers Weekly
The Monroe animals prove themselves up to scratch in this sublimely silly Bunnicula caper (following Return to Howliday Inn). Newcomers will quickly catch on to the series' premise: Chester the cat has persuaded Harold, the mutt narrator cum author, and Howie, the dachshund puppy, that the Monroe boys' pet rabbit is really a vampire-just look at the way he drains vegetables of their juices. As this installment begins, Harold believes the household safe, and so he is unnerved by Chester's cryptic comment, "Let's just say the matter is under control.... At last." As usual with the Bunnicula books, the plot is less important than Howe's contagious amusement in telling his story. The tone drolly combines high diction and animal nature (e.g., in a note to "his" editor, Harold muses, "Odd, that I, whose greatest ambition has always been the uninterrupted nap, should... find himself the semi-famous author of several books!"). The slyly observed dynamics of the cast act as a foil to the cheerfully loopy conceit. For example, the animals watch as the Monroe brothers fight: "Pete retorted with a backhanded insult. Toby lobbed a high string of colorful adjectives capped by a perfectly executed oxymoron.... 'And the match goes to Toby,' Chester commented. 'Nice wordplay.'" Howe's wordplay is better than nice, and the match goes to him-and to his readers. Ages 8-12.
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-Bunnicula, the Vampire Bunny, returns with his friendsAHarold and Howie (dogs) and Chester (cat)Aand family (Toby, Pete, and Mr. and Mrs. Monroe). Harold tells the story in the first person. Chester, the cat, feels that Bunnicula is up to his old evil ways of draining the juice from all the vegetables. The Monroe family is involved in trying to save the old theater, where they found Bunnicula, from demolition. As the tale unwinds, Harold suspects that the listless and tired Bunnicula misses his mother. When Bunnicula and Chester escape from the veterinarian's office, they end up in the movie theater on the day it is to be demolished. Harold and Howie rush in to save them. This exciting tale explores the concepts of fantasy and reality, family relationships, animal characteristics, and friendships. Reading Bunnicula first will help youngsters better understand this episode. References to the animals reading books also provide exciting literary comparisons to encourage children to read. Noted actor Victor Garber reads the story with feeling, expression, and clarity. On rare occasions he replaces a word used in the original story with another word. Technical quality is very good. Both individual and group use is appropriate.Ann Elders, Mark Twain Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
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