Hello Teen Readers, and welcome to Time Travel Tuesdays! Once a week, we’ll take a break from the latest and greatest to bring you back to a time when children walked to school three miles in a blinding snowstorm uphill both ways, when your parents had Eighties Hair and suspicious yearbook photos, and occasionally people wrote cool books. Some of these books are from the J collection, rather than YA, and you may have read them a few years ago. But we, the ever-so-grown-up 20-somethings of the TFL, still think these are good.
Today’s time travels bring us to 1979. Do you like jaw-droppingly sexy vampires and edge-of-the-chair horror? Yes? No? Well, how about a deceptively cute, fluffy vampire with a “motor in his nose” who menaces sweet, tender vegetables? Oh yes, this is Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery, by James and Deborah Howe.
One dark and stormy night, the door of the Monroe home is whipped open to reveal, before a menacing sky, the greatest threat the family refrigerator has ever seen: Bunnicula, the new pet bunny rabbit.
Our tale is told by Harold, a humble dog with a taste for penny loafers and chocolate cupcakes (with cream inside!). He’s no academic, but he does understand certain Carpathian dialects; very useful when translating messages from Transylvania. He eventually develops a protective affection for little Bunnicula, although he doesn’t really understand the appeal of a pet who won’t romp.
Chester is a different story. Cynical, edgy, and burdened with a “vivid imagination,” the family cat listens to Professor Monroe’s English lectures and reads Edgar Allen Poe while the family sleeps. Perhaps reading The Mark of the Vampire to the gypsy strains of the neighbor’s nighttime violin practice has gotten to him… or maybe he is the only one who can explain the mysterious white tomato-like object in the kitchen…
So begins Chester’s wild campaign to stop the vampire in their midst. His attempts are more laughable than laudable. But who can blame the Monroe family? What would you do if your cat began an elaborate drama involving garlic, steaks (… not stakes), and the beleaguered pet bunny? You might just call the cat psychologist.
In the meantime, have a good laugh at the expense of good-hearted Harold, crazy Chester, and the witty – if corny – banter they exchange on their way to saving the Monroe family from the bunny rabbit.