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The Fright Before Christmas (Bunnicula and Friends


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About the Author

James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers. Bunnicula, coauthored by his late wife Deborah and published in 1979, is considered a modern classic of children's literature. The author has written six highly popular sequels, along with the spinoff series Tales from the House of Bunnicula and Bunnicula and Friends. Among his other books are picture books such as Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores and beginning reader series that include the Pinky and Rex and Houndsley and Catina books. He has also written for older readers. The Misfits, published in 2001, inspired the antibullying initiative No Name-Calling Week, as well as three sequels, Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis. A common theme in James Howe's books from preschool through teens is the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at

Jeff Mack has written and illustrated a long list of award-winning picture books, chapter books, and early readers, including the Clueless McGee series, the Mr. Monkey series, Good News Bad News, Hush Little Polar Bear, Duck in the Fridge, and Look!. He lives, works, and sometimes monkeys around in Western Massachusetts. Visit him at


Bunnicula characters Harold and Chester are back, in a colorful picture-book format. Once again the ungainly dog, Harold, narrates the story and lends to it his particular canine perspective. Howie, the dachshund puppie, is about to experience his first Christmasbut he's frightened that he will be captured by the ``big fat man in a red suit'' with a sack over his shoulder. Harold's and Chester's overactive imaginations lead them to the basement, where strange noises occur in the middle of the night. Could it be a ghost? Although Howe does not have the space in this picture book to develop the characters as brilliantly as in the novels, the pace is lively and the tone of warm family harmony is just right for the season. With Morrill's sprightly illustrations, this book will enable the middle-grade Bunnicula -phile to introduce the series to a younger sibling. Ages 5-8. (September)

"Howie...fears the arrival of Christmas....Chester [and] Harold...try to reassure Howie; but when ghostlike noises awaken them on Christmas Eve, they, too, grow uneasy....With aHalloween-like lure of mystery and suspense...this will make an enticing Christmas read."-- "Booklist""The pace is lively and the tone is just right for the season."-- "Publishers Weekly"

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