Rabbits 2, Gardeners 0: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! and Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide! by Candace Fleming
Long before Farmer McGregor took after Peter Rabbit with his hoe, gardeners and rabbits have fought the battle of the growing season. Candance Fleming's runaway hit Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! takes Mr. McGreeley's vendetta against "those naughty wigglenoses" as far as it can go in defense of his yummy veggies, as he first puts up wire fence, then a tall wooden palings, and finally a concrete wall bristling with watch towers and searchlights, all to no avail. The bunnies go over, under, and through McGreeley's defenses, chanting "Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! until the embattled farmer throws in the lettuce leaf and sets aside a garden just for the flopears.
In her sequel,Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide! again illustrated by G. Brian Karas, Mr. McGreeley takes down his hammock, takes in his garden hose, and brings out the snow shovel and storm windows in preparation for winter. McGreeley is ready to snuggle into his easy chair, put up his feet, and enjoy the coziness of winter surrounded by his books. Unfortunately, the three bunnies, plump and sassy from their summer of eating his veggies, think his scenario sounds pretty attractive for them, too.
When they try the polite route to gain entrance, with a "Knocka-Knocka-Knocka," McGreeley slams the door in their faces with a "Hop off, scram, shoo!" As before, the rabbits are the anti-Houdinis, slipping in through the mail slot with a "Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide!" When McGreeley nails up the slot, they slip down the chimney and break in through the windows, but when the hassled homeowner finds "bunny drops" on this pillow, it's an all-out defensive war. McGreeley bricks up all his doorways and finally achieves a bunny-less home to relax and enjoy the winter quiet in--until spring returns. Unfortunately, McGreeley's defenses are so solid that he has to take a sledgehammer to his bricked-up front door to get out. When at last he breaks open a peephole, he finds the bunnies there, ready to share their spring flower salad with him with a familiar "Muncha, Muncha, Muncha."
The bouncy rhymes and appealing alliteration of these two popular picture books have made these stories of man's battles with those "wascally wabbits" a favorite for preschoolers, who love the hyperbole and outrageous onomatopoeia of McGreeley's struggle and final compromise with three irresistible rabbits.