In a way, it was an positive experience to read a Newbery Book that made Gay Neck and Onion John seem like gripping thrillers, but in another way, reading Rabbit Hill made me feel as if I had wasted 45 minutes of my life. Yes, 45 minutes. Or maybe it was 30. I skimmed. Which was really easy to do and not lose much of what was going on.
Let me give you a synopsis. (Possible spoiler alert, if that can be possible)
All the animals of the meadow, who get along in good harmony, carnivores included, find out that "Folks" re moving to the old deserted farmhouse. Will they be good Folks who plant, or bad Folks who do not? Yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak, etc. (Yak is a substitute word for all the inane, boring, high-falutin', dialect, anthropomorphic, tedious, chatty discussion all the critters have amongst themselves while they wonder.)
Yay! The Folks are good Folks! They plant, and don't harm the animals! In fact, they nurse Mother's darling bunny, Little Georgie, back to health after they run over him! (While this part of the story may seem like it has excitement potential, trust me, the tedious animal conversations and reactions ensure it never gets much momentum.)
And the coup de gras of the tale, the Folks erect a statue of St. Francis of Assisi in a clearing, ensuring the message of the book is not lost in the story.
In my opinion, this would have worked tolerably well for a much shorter children's picture book. I expect that for some, this might be a much beloved book from their childhood past, but for me, I can't see it.
I got this book from the thrift store for probably less than a buck.