The Celery Stalks at Midnight

celery stalks at midnight 1st edition
7.0 Overall Score

Return to horror format of Bunnicula

Feels like rehash of Bunnicula at points

 
Book Info

Book Title:  The Celery Stalks at Midnight

Publisher:  Antheneum

Writer:  James Howe

Illustrator:  Leslie Morrill

Release Date:  1983

celery stalks at midnight cover james howe

The Celery is coming for you!

When Bunnicula disappears from his cage, Chester thinks his nefarious plan has finally been launched.  When white vegetables begin to show up all over the neighborhood, Chester tries to convince Harold and Howie that the vegetables are the first step of Bunnicula’s army…and Bunnicula and his vegetables must be stopped!

Written by James Howe and illustrated by Leslie Morrill, The Celery Stalks at Midnight is the third entry in the Bunnicula series and a follow-up to Howliday Inn from 1982.

I loved Bunnicula but fell out of love with the series with its follow-up Howliday Inn which ditched horror for a murder mystery.  With The Celery Stalks at Midnight, Howe returned to the formula of Bunnicula, but I had already outgrown the series.

I wasn’t a big mystery fan when Howliday Inn was released and as a kid, preferred horror and monsters.  The Celery Stalked at Midnight brought back the whole vampire aspect of the first book.  The book felt like a continuation of Bunnicula which was a plus, but I always read series as series and getting to The Celery Stalked at Midnight meant going through Howliday Inn…overall, The Celery Stalks at Midnight also feels like rehash.

celery stalks at midnight cover bunnicula

Bunnicula’s evil never ends!

I won’t say that the series isn’t entirely unimaginative.  The idea of staking vegetables with toothpicks (and having them look like hors d’oeuvres is funny) and it was good to see Max again from Howliday Inn.  The whole end sequence involving the play and the town of “vampires” is the type of stuff that you can enjoy as a kid.  It is over-the-top and as an adult you can see the clues coming a mile away, but for younger readers who are experiencing horror and mystery for the first time, it is a good introduction to the genre.

I will give The Celery Stalks at Midnight is a great title for the novel with the clever pun.  The book itself will please Bunnicula fans but feels like more of the same.  The book however is for children and most children won’t find this problematic since many titles written for kids are rehashed (especially in serialized books).  As a kid it was hard to find “horror” books, and the Bunnicula series at least provided a fun outlet for that.  The Celery Stalks at Midnight was followed by Nighty-Nightmare in 1987 (which is also sometimes known as The Return of Bunnicula).

Related Links:

Bunnicula:  A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

Howliday Inn

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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