James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers. Bunnicula, coauthored by his late wife Deborah and published in 1979, is considered a modern classic of children's literature. The author has written six highly popular sequels, along with the spinoff series Tales from the House of Bunnicula and Bunnicula and Friends. Among his other books are picture books such as Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores and beginning reader series that include the Pinky and Rex and Houndsley and Catina books. He has also written for older readers. The Misfits, published in 2001, inspired the antibullying initiative No Name-Calling Week, as well as three sequels, Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis. A common theme in James Howe's books from preschool through teens is the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.
Jeff Mack has written and illustrated a long list of award-winning picture books, chapter books, and early readers, including the Clueless McGee series; the Mr. Monkey series; Good News, Bad News; Hush Little Polar Bear; Duck in the Fridge; and Look!. He lives, works, and sometimes monkeys around in Western Massachusetts. Visit him at JeffMack.com.
The latest Bunnicula picture book sustains that series' well-known comedy-of-errors combination of slapstick and intrigue. Once again the other animals in the Monroe household suspect impending danger from the pet rabbit, Bunnicula, whom they are convinced is a vampire. This time, thanks to Chester the cat (who maintains his impervious air of omniscience by making up what he doesn't know), Harold the dog (our narrator) and Howie the dachshund puppy believe that Bunnicula is in league with a visiting magician. When they learn that The Amazing Karlovsky plans to pull Bunnicula out of a hat during a show at the local school, they are sure that a horde of vampire bunnies will be loosed upon the audience. Can unspeakable horror be averted? Howe garnishes his story with winsome puns and indulgent irony before he unveils the requisite logical explanation. Daniel, who illustrated two Bunnicula middle readers, contributes watercolor, gouache and colored-pencil art; his composition, lighting and perspectives are theatrically exaggerated, especially in comparison with Leslie Morrill's rather staid pictures for Howe's 1991 Creepy-Crawly Birthday . The piece de resistance: a pull-out magic trick, clearly explained and easily executed. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)
Gr 2-4-The upcoming appearance of the Amazing Karlovsky at Toby's school could be trouble. Chester the skeptical cat is sure that the magician is from Transylvania, and he suspects that everyone is in for an avalanche of vampire bunnies pulled out of hats. So Chester; the gullible puppy, Howie; and Harold the dog form a plan involving garlic pizza and the ever-enigmatic Bunnicula. This easy chapter book covers the basic "facts" older readers may know about this rabbit in a format that is suitable for proficient second and third graders. Mack's cheerful acrylics reflect the action but don't get in the way. An additional purchase where a fan base exists.-Susan Hepler, formerly at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.