Bear enjoys his house in the woods and the perfect solitude it offers. When a group of rabbits build a house up the hill and get too neighborly, he’s less than kind about it. Can he learn to adapt, or will Those Pesky Rabbits destroy his peace?
Author-illustrator Ciara Flood has fun with these incompatible neighbors. Bear’s pleasant seclusion is a bit undone by the mouse who appears in many scenes, pilfering a bit of tea or cake. The rabbits are solicitous to the point of sarcasm, but the snow-bear they make on the hill wears a big frown. Flood's artwork is warm and energetic, and Bear and the rabbits could be second cousins to animals from classic Disney animation. Warm browns and nighttime blues give way to jazzy fall colors and scenes that pop against a plain white background. There’s a nice visual gag in the end papers as well.
It’s clear that when Bear makes peace with his neighbors, it’s imperfect—a scene with the rabbits baking a cake (and making a mess) shows him covering his eyes in dismay. But Those Pesky Rabbits still turn out to be more than neighbors, but friends to watch the stars and share books. This is a sweet and charming debut.