Howe's vampire bunny is a childhood favorite When it...

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April 04, 2002|By Tricia Bishop

Howe's vampire bunny is a childhood favorite

When it comes to cuddly bunnies, the standard advice might be to hold them gently or make sure they're fed well, but on the back cover of James Howe's first kids' book, drippy red letters -- the kind used on horror flick posters -- warn readers to "beware of the hare." The hare in question, it seems, is not your everyday bunny, but instead a fang-sporting vampire rabbit -- or so the other Monroe family animals imagine when the little ball of fur is brought home to join them.

Not the stuff of bedtime stories you think? Think again. The book, Bunnicula, A Rabbit Tale of Mystery, first published in 1979, is a favorite with kids and a multiple-award winner, and its protagonist is one of the more lovable Draculas around.

Howe went on to write several other books based on Bunnicula's behaviors and many others, including a series of mysteries based on a 13-year-old sleuth names Sebastian Barth. Recently he published two young adult books, The Misfits, about a bunch of outsiders standing up for themselves, and The Watcher, the story of a young girl who watches life more than she lives it.

Howe will speak about his writing and the creation of his characters Tuesday at Stoneleigh Elementary School in Baltimore (900 Pemberton Road) at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For information, call 410-887-6196.

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