I am in love with my little second-graders. The moms are great, too, but the girls are simply edible. They are 100% honest and straight about what they think and how they feel, and what comes out of their mouths absolutely cracks me up!
I was a little surprised to hear that some of them were scared when they started reading Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery. Actually, even before reading–the cover of the book scared them! (My own girls are post-Harry Potter and I guess I’ve forgotten how sensitive the young ones can be.) And many did not like it right away; they were confused by the names and weren’t sure what was happening.
However, they stuck it out, and ended up liking this little mystery told by Harold, the faithful and lovable dog. And the moms liked it and found it quite funny. One of the things I like about this little book is that the story has humor that appeals to both kids and adults. But what about my criteria? (You should know what I mean by that by now!)
The Story: The Monroe family has found an abandoned bunny at the movies, which they bring home to care for. Because the movie had been a vampire movie, the Monroe’s name the bunny Bunnicula–a blending of Dracula and bunny. Chester, the family cat, who feels just a tad jealous of this newcomer, and who has been more than a tad influenced by all the gothic stories he’s been reading, becomes convinced that Bunnicula is a vampire. Could this be true? Well, there are mysterious white veggies appearing suddenly in the Monroe’s kitchen. Has Bunnicula been sucking out the juice with his little fangs? And after he finishes off the vegetables, will he turn to the Monroe’s and suck their blood? Chester, with the help of the Monroe’s faithful and down-to-earth dog Harold, is not about to let that happen. Hilarity ensues!
Questions: There are lots of questions that pop up from this story, and the beautiful thing is, there aren’t answers for all the questions. At least not that everyone will agree on. Read the book and you’ll see what I mean. Is Bunnicula a vampire? Is there a mystery at all to this story? Does Chester believe what he’s telling Harold? Is he imagining it all?
Life Lessons: Two “take-aways” for me: 1) the next time your imagination goes a little wild and drags you along with it, stop and ask yourself–are things really the way I am seeing them? 2) As Harold tells us at the end of the story, “…happy endings are possible, even in situations as fraught with complications as this one was.”
Bottom Line: Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe is a great story for a Mother/ Daughter book group. Third grade night be better than second grade because the plot is a tiny bit complicated, and the story and humor are both somewhat sophisticated.