Thursday, March 21, 2013

Reader's Diary #967- Deborah and James Howe: Bunnicula

(Pre-scheduled post to appear while I'm away in NYC.) 

Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe was a childhood favourite. I've since read it to my daughter, countless students, and now my son. And either it's my enthusiasm rubbing off and/or it's a great book, because they all love it almost as much as I. My son laughed so loudly that my wife heard him from the next room.

Yes, despite the promise of a bunny who may or may not be a vampire, Bunnicula is a humorous book, but quite light on the horror. Still, as I read it this time around I thought of how it's not a stretch to suppose that this book was the beginning of my love affair with horror novels. While I don't read as much horror anymore, I lived and breathed it in high school. While there may not have been references to Stephen King in Bunnicula, there were enough references to Dracula and to Edgar Allan Poe that even at a young age I made sure I was also reading the classics. The best children's novels don't shy away from references such as those. Every adult has heard of Bram Stoker's creation and Edgar Allan Poe, but their first exposure to those masters had to start somewhere and for me, I believe it was with Deborah and James Howe.

Humorous or not, I'd normally have waited until closer to Halloween to read it but it got bumped up to March. Why? I just finished Watership Down, was I on a rabbit kick? Nope. It's close to Easter. Some sort of tribute to the Easter bunny? Again, another good theory, but not correct. It's because my wife was able to score us some tickets to see the off-Broadway show in New York City. (Plus, James Howe is from New York, so there's that tie-in as well.) We're also going to see the biggies, Phantom of the Opera and Wicked, and I know she booked the much smaller in scope, Bunnicula, for the kids, but I'm (not so) secretly eager to see this one almost as much.

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