BUNNICULA STRIKES AGAIN!

Once again Harold, “canine author extraordinaire,” relates a madcap tale lit up with clever character twists and plots going hilariously awry. Convinced that his long-eared nemesis is up to something, Chester the cat hopes to weaken Bunnicula by drinking his carrot juice on the sly. To Chester’s dismay, the worried Monroes cart their suddenly lethargic bunny to the vet’s, touching off a merry chase that includes a suspicious Harold and the subintellectual Howie. Adding cameos of feline ne’er-do-wells Felony and Miss Demeanor, plus other characters from previous books, Howe (Rabbit-Cadabra!, 1993, etc.) flogs the plot along to a melodramatic climax; Chester and Bunnicula are caught up in the demolition of the old movie house in which Bunnicula was first found, and are seen plunging into oblivion together. By the time the two are pulled safely from the rubble, Chester has suffered an astonishing change of heart, and Howie expresses literary ambitions—developments that fans of this long-running, and deservedly popular, series will view with approval, or alarm. (b&w illustrations) (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-81463-1

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE HIGH-RISE PRIVATE EYES

THE CASE OF THE PUZZLING POSSUM

Bunny Brown and Jack Jones, ace detectives, join forces again to solve their third easy-reader mystery in this snappy new series from Newbery Medalist Rylant, author of the beloved Henry and Mudge books. Bunny the bunny is the practical brains of the detective duo, and Jack the raccoon is her humorous sidekick, who is even funnier in this book than in the previous volumes, The Case of the Missing Monkey (not reviewed) and The Case of the Climbing Cat (2000). In this case, Bunny and Jack solve the chronic disappearance (and reappearance) of a trombone from a neighborhood music store. The puzzling possum of the title, Freddy, has been repeatedly "borrowing" the trombone so he can play at hayride entertainments with Gus's Big Brass Boys. Bunny and Jack nab him red-handed, and Bunny offers the practical solution of paying for the trombone by giving lessons at the music store. The combination easy-reader, easy-mystery follows the established format of a few clues, a mild neighborhood mystery, and lots of clever puns and jokes that will delight the intended audience. The humor is exactly on track for the early elementary grades, including a squashed marshmallow on Jack's seat and a quick rush to the bathroom following some dizzying explanations by the music-store owner (just the sort of jokes first graders adore). Karas's engaging illustrations in acrylic, gouache, and pencil help create unique personalities for Bunny and Jack. It's no mystery why this series is successful, and this endearing duo seems destined to crack many more cases of minor mischief in their urban neighborhood. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-16308-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

PONDFIRE

Maynard (Quiet, Wyatt!, 1999) makes fire the pivotal plot element in this short, episodic action novel. In the small village of McIntosh, Jed, the fire chief’s son, is branded a fire bug for a past transgression in which he accidentally burned down the family garage. Now, when a local swamp catches fire, he is the first to be blamed. Norm Dempsey, wannabe fire chief, is first to point the finger. Through a freak accident, Jed’s father lands in a coma in the hospital. A series of fires, a swamp fire, brush fire, barn fire, and school fire in the sports equipment room, forms a string of actions that make up the story. Toss in a few boyish pranks and some not-so-subtle clues and the story builds to its natural climax—an even bigger fire. This time, a monster train wreck sets the whole pond ablaze. Not surprisingly, Jed takes charge and steps in to rescue the day, the nursing home and surrounding houses, with a little help from his recuperating father, all in the name of saving face and proving that Norm Dempsey is behind the arsons. This fast-moving, predictable fare has some great action sequences, with appeal for mystery fans. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-399-23439-X

Page Count: 149

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more