Those pesky rabbits by Ciara Flood
Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781742761442
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Rabbits. Bears. Neighbours. Friendship. Bear loves his own company, and children reading the book or joining in when someone reads it to them, will eagerly point out the clues to his taciturn nature: 'Go Away' written on his doormat, the look on his face, the binoculars to watch his new neighbours in case they call, his Home Sweet Home panel with just one bear embroidered into the picture, and his less that welcoming demeanour when the rabbits do come to call. Readers will love watching his face as it becomes more aggressive with the rabbits knocking on his door, and will laugh at the turned down ears of the rabbits as they learn that their new neighbour is not very receptive.
They want to borrow some honey and he lies about having any; they try to borrow some wood, and he sends them away; they want to swap some books, but again he tells them to go. Each time, the lovely illustrations show the reality of Bear's house and the things he could have given them.
When the rabbits leave something for him, he suddenly feels lonely and so must go about redeeming himself to his neighbours, finding out that perhaps there is more to life than being alone. Children will love following the antics of Bear and the ways the rabbits try to be friends, being rebuffed at all attempts, and will follow the little mouse as it appears, and marvel at the landscapes presented on each page.
There are many standout pages: the blue of the day Bear realises what he is missing out on; the pages filled with the activities they do together; the pages where he pulls his sled across to their place, and all the wonderful interior scenes. I loved them all, and kids will too.