A sudden new arrival prompts a flare of xenophobia in Bear’s excitable lapine buddy.
Any resemblance to current affairs must, of course, be coincidental. Once the tiny feathered stranger who has crashed into a tree and fallen unconscious is identified as an owl, Rabbit, who has never met one before, is terrified. “Owls…eat you ALIVE! And the next day they BURP UP YOUR BONES!” he shouts. “Lock her up!” Failing in her effort to defuse the panic (“One bone at a time, or all of them at once?”), Bear sadly wanders off in search of blueberries as Rabbit proceeds to whip the other forest creatures into a frenzy. Happily, all ends well after Owl wakes up and calmly explains that she is a small burrowing owl who eats only fruit and bugs—mostly dung beetles. Embarrassed, Rabbit and the rest apologize and pitch in to furnish the owl with a comfy new home…liberally daubed with blueberry poo (Bear’s contribution) that, to the amazement of all, instantly attracts, as Owl puts it, “Fast foooooo…foooooo…fooooood!” Bear and Rabbit agree that everyone’s “normal on the outside” and “weird on the inside”—“And that’s OK.” Woodsy duotone scenes on nearly every page feature comically wide-eyed creatures of diverse size and species looking amazed, panic-stricken, or, in Owl’s case, disarmingly cute.
A pointed jab at wanton fearmongering, lightened by a bit of philosophy and rather a lot of gas. (Animal fantasy. 6-8)