[Philippa Pearce] writes with a hushed expectancy that does not necessarily end in solemnity, but—on many occasions—spills over into humor or into plain realism…. [All the stories in What the Neighbors Did and Other Stories] capture the environmental experiences and the domestic adventures of children living in a present-day English village…. As in the stories of Sara Orne Jewett, the effect of the narratives depends upon the author's powers of observation and sympathy; and the exquisite simplicity of her style is never precious. (pp. 592-93)
Paul Heins, "Stories for the Middle Readers: 'What the Neighbors Did and Other Stories'," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1973 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. XLIX, No. 6, December, 1973, pp. 592-93.