This little book has three storylines. In the first two chapters, Peter Rabbit decides he doesn\’t like his name and is going to go by Peter Cottontail. Which is silly, because it\’s not that different from his current name. Even sillier is that he puts on airs to seem like someone different, and refuses to answer to his old name. His friends soon use this to play a trick on him, which makes Peter realize it was a mistake and drop the name change.
Then for many chapters Peter, some of the other little animals and Reddy Fox repeatedly pull pranks on each other, some just for laughs, and others to get even with those who had tricked them. Not sure that exactly sends a good message! A big part of this is Reddy trying to catch Peter so his sick Granny Fox can eat a rabbit dinner. Of course he doesn\’t, because none of the named characters in the books ever do get eaten- although Reddy eats unnamed chickens, mice, etc in other stories. So you know well he\’s a predator but the banter between him and Peter Rabbit make it seem half in jest. The fox gets frustrated after trying many different methods to catch Peter and finally gets the weasel to help him out, but even though the weasel can fit into Peter\’s narrow paths among the brambles, he too gets foiled and Peter stays safe. In another part the fox runs into a wasp nest, gets stung and his face swells up. He plasters it with mud and the other animals make fun of him, but then become bold around the fox, seeing that he\’s hurt. Reddy then tries to pretend he\’s still disabled after feeling better so he can catch someone, to no avail.
The final part of the book has Peter puzzled at the actions of some of his friends, who are preparing for the winter- squirrels burying nuts, the woodchuck absolutely stuffing his face, and he is astonished when he sees Grandfather Frog bury himself in the mud. He doesn\’t seem to know anything about how other animals hibernate or migrate to avoid the winter cold. When someone clues him in that his friends the skunk, raccoon and others sleep most of the winter, Peter thinks this is a fine idea and determines to try it himself. Of course it doesn\’t work, and when the others realize what he\’s doing, they play another trick on him.
Not quite as engaging as some of the other Burgess I\’ve read, but still a fun little book. I don\’t have a hardcopy, this one\’s on my e-reader.