cover image Nibbles O'Hare

Nibbles O'Hare

Betty Paraskevas. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-82865-2

In this Grinchly treatment by the Paraskevases (On the Day the Tall Ships Sailed), a cynical rabbit cons his neighbors into thinking he's the Easter Bunny. Nibbles O'Hare hails from the big city, where he thrives on the carrots he steals from a chic restaurant in Lincoln Park. His sharp navy-blue suit and well-appointed burrow testify to upper-class comfort. But when an angry chef posts a bulletin (""Wanted for Produce Stealing: Nibbles O'Hare""), Nibbles skips town with his friend Struts, a pigeon whose newsboy cap gives him the look of a seasoned bookie. They hightail it to an abandoned rural shack, where Nibbles convinces the local rabbits that he's a holiday big shot. The story's sudden transitions make for a bumpy ride: Nibbles charms the unsuspecting townsfolk, coordinates a chocolate-bunny-making effort and then repents for his lies on a rainy Easter day. On the other hand, Nibbles perfectly fits the city-slicker stereotype, and gets good comic support from the timid Struts, a hyper squirrel named Wacky Shellhammer and a codgerly skeptic-rabbit called One-Eyed Jack. This disjointed tale gets by on its winning premise and likable grifters. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)