Friday, May 24, 2013

Reader's Diary #1006- James Howe: Return to Howliday Inn

Continuing to read James Howe's Bunnicula series to my son, I'm now into unfamiliar territory. Sort of. I had only read the first three books as a child and Return to Howliday Inn is the fourth. However, it is a return to a familiar setting, with similar plots, and so it's not remarkably different.

We're still enjoying them, mind you. We've always appreciated Howe's humour and wacky personalities. In fact, whereas the first Howliday Inn book (the 2nd in the series) was a bit of a let down, the return was an improvement. On Howe's end, the pacing was better and the abundance of new characters were defined more. On my end, I think I did a better job keeping all the voices straight. (I even channeled the Howells from Gilligan's Island for one particular couple.) Once again, I enjoyed the literary references. In previous novels, Howe has introduced young readers to classic horror and mystery stories. In this one, Shakespeare's Hamlet plays a significant role.

Though I'm starting to wish there was perhaps an underlying story arc that would bring the books together more or at least give the series more of a sense of purpose. It's not quite stale yet, but with just two books left, I'd have figured a closure would have at least been hinted at by now.

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