Title: Bunnicula, A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
Author: Deborah and James Howe
ISBN: 9781416928171/Aladdin Paperbacks
Protagonist: Harold the dog
Setting: the home of a typical American family
KidLit, Series #1
First Line: I shall never forget the first time I laid these now tired old eyes on our visitor.
Mr. Monroe is a college professor. Mrs. Monroe is a lawyer. They have two young sons, Pete and Toby, a family cat named Chester, and a family dog named Harold. One evening the Monroes go to the theater to see Dracula, and they find a tiny black and white baby bunny in Toby's seat. They bring it home, fix up a very nice cage for it, name it Bunnicula, and think they've just added another pet to the menagerie. But have they done more than that? A few evenings later, Chester the cat discovers Bunnicula sneaking back to his cage from the kitchen. In the morning, Mrs. Monroe finds a very strange-looking white tomato in the refrigerator. Chester becomes convinced that Bunnicula is a vampire, and he won't rest until he's saved his family.
I wish these books had been published when I was a child. I raised rabbits when I was young, and I would've loved these Bunnicula books. Steady, faithful Harold and bookish, paranoid Chester shine in this first book, which made me laugh out loud several times. Fortunately I seem to be going through my second (third?) childhood, because I'm certainly looking forward to the next book in the series!