A neatnik cat repeatedly and fruitlessly orders dust bunnies to leave in this conspicuously uninspired domestic drama.
Endowing all of the figures in his cartoon scenes with the same inexpressive, heavy-lidded eyes and placing them in static tableaux, Cleary (Stop Bugging Me!, 2010) sets up a monotonous argument between Prickles the cat and an increasing army of mouselike smudges that are reluctant to leave the safety of the couch’s underside to venture outdoors. Ultimately they win out, with some bunnies clumping themselves into a sweater for the resident mouse and others gathering in legions to be knitted into a like garment for the homeowner, a rat (?) named Mr. Cheese. Designed and arranged in large graphic panels à la Candlewick’s Toon Books (and part of a series dubbed Balloon Toons in further direct, if unacknowledged homage), this may spark some initial interest in budding comics fans for its format, but the bored-looking characters and the general air of ennui don’t exactly add up to a memorable reading experience—particularly in comparison to the far livelier bits of fluff in Jan Thomas’ Rhyming Dust Bunnies (2009).
A stiff, flat, lifeless knockoff. (Graphic picture book. 6-8)