Angela McAllister, , illus. by Maggie Kneen. . Doubleday, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32732-9

A sleepless young bunny inhabits an appealing Beatrix Potteresque world of nattily dressed, human-like rabbits, but the plot stretches thin. Kneen's (The Lonely Scarecrow) tranquil, soft-focus watercolor and gouache illustrations steal the show. "It's so quiet, and nothing happens in the dark," a wakeful Duffy complains. But Mommy tells him of the night's hidden activity. "Mr. Fox takes his walk," she notes, and Herbert Badger plays until dawn, when Mrs. Badger kisses him and says, "Day-day, little one"—the flip side to Mommy's own nightly refrain. While McAllister's (The Clever Cowboy) night-and-day twist is intriguing, it only surfaces in the second half of the book, after a prolonged and predictable recital of Duffy's bedtime ritual (story, singing, glasses of water, requests for more stories, etc.). The sluggish, uneven pacing does the cuddly bunnies a disservice. With brown, shiny—almost glassy—eyes and plush gray fur (replicated with tiny, nearly hair-breadth brushstrokes), Duffy evokes the fleecy comfort of his stuffed counterparts. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)