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Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery

Last updated Sunday, February 23, 2020

Author: Deborah Howe
Illustrator: Alan Daniel
Date of Publication: 1979
ISBN: 0689307004
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2004

Synopsis: This book is written by Harold. His full time occupation is dog. He lives with Mr. and Mrs. X (here called Monroe) and their sons Toby and Pete. Also sharing the home are a cat named Chester and a rabbit named Bunnicula. It is because of Bunnicula that Harold turned to writing.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have any pets? What do you think they are thinking about? How would they sound if they could talk?
•  What is a vampire? Have you seen one before? Are you scared of vampires? Why?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you think the bunny is really a vampire?
•  Are things always what they seem? Have you ever jumped to a conclusion that turned out to be wrong?
•  How do we treat people who seem different? Can people with different personalities still be friends?
•  How are you and your siblings or friends different? How do you get along?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a "family portrait" including your pets.
•  Pretend you're the cat and draw Bunnicula from your point of view. Then pretend you're the dog and draw Bunnicula. Discuss the differences.

Special activities:
•  Blindfold one of the kids. Have another kid act out the actions of an animal, making sounds appropriate to the actions. Give the blindfolded child three chances to guess what animal is being portrayed. Afterwards, discuss what led the blindfolded child to his or her conclusions, and pick two new volunteers to repeat the exercise.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!