Candace Fleming
Muncha Muncha Muncha
Anne Schwartz Books
Atheneum, 2002
978-0689831522
ages 4 to 8
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Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!
written by Candace Fleming
illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Teachers' Guide

Tippy, tippy, tippy, Pat!

That's the sound three hungry bunnies make when the sun goes down and the moon comes up and Mr. McGreely's garden smells yum, yum, yummy. While he's dreaming of his mouth-watering carrots, the bunnies are diving over fences and swimming trenches to get the veggies first!

Hammer, hammer, hammer, Saw!

That's the sound Mr. McGreely makes when the sun comes up and the moon goes down and he sees what those twitch-whiskers have done....Nibbled leaves! Empty stalks! Mr. McGreely will build something bigger and better, sure to keep even pesky puff-tails away.

Awards and Honors
ALA Children's Notable Book
Arizona Young Reader's Award, 2004 
Book-Of-The-Month Club featured selection
Buckeye (Ohio) Children's Book Award Nominee 2005
California Young Reader Medal Winner 2004-2005
Capitol Choices (Washington DC) Book 2002
Junior Library Guild Selection
Kentucky Bluegrass State Award Nominee 2004-2005 
Maryland State Book Award Nominee 2004-2005
Monarch Award, Illinois K-3 Children's Choice Award Nominee 2005-2006
New York Public Library 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know
New York Public Library Best Books for Reading and Sharing 2002
North Carolina State Book Award Nominee 2004-2005 
Pennsylvania State Book Award Nominee 2005-2006 
School Library Journal Best Book
Stockport School 's Book Award (shortlist)
Washington State Children's Choice Picture Book Award Nominee 2004-2005

Read the Reviews
Like Phyllis Root's Rattletrap Car [BKL Ap 1 01], this charming picture book is filled with hilarious, slapdash problem solving and irresistible sounds. After years of wishful thinking, Mr. McGreely plants a garden and eagerly awaits his fresh vegetables. Unfortunately, a group of naughty rabbits nibbles his crop. Angry and determined, Mr. McGreely surrounds his plot first with a fence, then with a moat--but the rabbits easily overcome each obstacle. Finally, having surrounded the garden with a fortress akin to a maximum-security prison, Mr. McGreely is sure his vegetables are safe--until he opens the door to harvest his crop. Karas' sketchy, childlike illustrations wonderfully echo the story's humor and farce and make lovable characters of McGreely and the rabbits alike. But it's the words that will really capture the audience. Fleming describes the rabbits' shenanigans in playful streams of onomatopoeia (“Tippy-tippy-tippy, Pat! Dig-scrablee, Scratch! Scratch! Scratch!”) that will keep kids gleefully chanting along, while the rest of the story unfolds with the simple, captivating language of a good folktale. With all the lively action and slapstick comedy, this delightful offering is sure to be a huge crowd pleaser and a story hour favorite.

This onomatopoeic romp opens calmly, with a hopeful gardener planting a vegetable patch behind his brownstone house. Bright green leaves sprout from the rich soil. "`Yum! Yum! Yummy!' said Mr. McGreeley. `I'll soon fill my tummy with crisp, fresh veggies.' " He doesn't notice a cottontail trio watching expectantly from the garden wall. "And the sun went down. And the moon came up. And / Tippy-tippy-tippy, Pat!/ Spring-hurdle,/ Dash! Dash! Dash!/ Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!" The brazen "twitch-whiskers" hop and dig their way to a fresh-picked salad, and Mr. McGreeley awakens to a row of gnawed stems. Karas, who works in chalky gray pencil with brick-red, kale-green and creamy-yellow gouache, pictures the bunnies waiting patiently as the incensed Mr. McGreeley builds a wire fence, a moat and an enormous cinderblock tower with searchlights. Fleming demonstrates an ear for language as the suburban farmer battles his furry foes, night after night. The ritual culminates in the "gotcha" finale, in which the rabbits seem defeated, only to burst into view with a vigorous repeat of the title. Fleming and Karas demonstrate great comic timing in this high-spirited tale of one-upmanship.

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