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Scared Silly (Bunnicula and Friends
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K-Gr 2-- Be prepared for the frolicking fears of Howie, Chester, Harold, and the very unusual vampire rabbit, Bunnicula, in their newest adventure into the frights and sights of Halloween trickery. They have appeared before in Bunnicula (1979), Howliday Inn (1982), The Celery Stalks at Midnight (1983, all Atheneum) and now can be enjoyed by a younger audience. In this seasonal tale, the four friends are excited about Halloween, but are soon to be terrorized by a mysterious (and puzzlingly familiar) witch. Large watercolor illustrations make for a really tangible experience as the action-packed story unfolds to its surprising (but not too scary) ending. Young listeners will be spellbound as they ``see'' Chester's tail wag to and fro, or ``feel'' Howie's hair stand on end the length of his back. The text is not overwhelming, making this a tale well within the capabilities of early readers. Eyes will dart from word to picture and back again in this picture-book tale of the frightful foursome. Order early, and order duplicate copies. You'll need them! --Mary Lou Budd, Milford South Elem . Sch . , OH

This story, narrated in first person by Harold the dog (of Bunnicula fame), concerns a cat, a dachshund, a rabbit--and, of course, a scary Halloween night. The animals know all day a storm is coming that night, when they'll be alone in the house. Anything might happen. Once the Monroe family heads out for the evening's festivities, goblins wander the streets, and in the storm, the lights go out. Then a witch arrives. She starts up a brew in the kitchen, then says, ``Now where are those animals?'' Chester's remark: ``My mother didn't raise me to be an ingredient.'' After the witch takes Bunnicula into the kitchen, the others try to escape, but they're stopped at every door by monsters. It's the invasion of the . . . Monroes, who've all come home--and the witch turns out to be Grandma, early for a visit. Morrill's diverting illustrations are an integral part of the fun in this light-hearted, corny caper. The pictures show the atmosphere growing visibly scarier once Harold, Chester et al. are alone at home; they cower at shadows, peek round doors with their ears back and stare in the dark living room at Bunnicula's red eyes. Then Morrill echoes the animals' (and the reader's) relief, when the intruders turn out to be family, by showing all participants full length, from farther away. This effective blend of words and art could summon a shiver any time of the year. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)

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