THe Best Laid Plans: A Review of ‘Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!


 “Time to plant my garden….or as the local bunnies call it, “my all-you-can-eat buffet.” – Maxine

Reading Level

Pre-K – Grade 3, Ages 3 – 8

AR 2.4 (0.5 points)

Review and Comments

No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. Mr. McGreely experiences this very thing when he plants his own garden so he can have wonderful fresh vegetables to eat.  He works very hard to establish a healthy garden and is pleased and proud of his abundant yield.  But as soon as the vegetables are ready to harvest, he finds evidence that three young and very hungry bunnies have nibbled on his plants. “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!”  Mr. McGreely is so angry he fortifies his garden with a fence that he is confident will do the trick.  The next night and every night after that, however, it’s “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!” as the bunnies continue to feast despite each new barrier Mr. Greely builds. In order to protect his garden, Mr. McGreely builds: a higher fence, a tall wooden wall, a trench, and an “enormous thing” with a lock.  But as the story progresses it is obvious that nothing can stop those determined bunnies. 

Mr. McGreely joyfully celebrates when he realizes the lock actually works, and his garden is finally secure. He can now harvest some very tasty vegetables that have not been nibbled.  He takes a basket and carefully maneuvers all the barriers he built to protect his garden.  The reader will notice the bunnies slyly hitch a ride in the basket while Mr. Greely is oblivious.  It isn’t until the basket is full of food that Mr. Greely discovers those stow away bunnies are enjoying yet another meal of his vegetables.  “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!”  The last illustration shows Mr. McGreely sitting next to the bunnies munching on a carrot and looking very much resigned to the fact that the bunnies will continue to follow their instincts to eat tasty vegetables.   

This story is a very good choice for early readers and an excellent read aloud story.  Very young children can echo the phrase, “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! as the story is read.  Children who are a bit older can also recite the repetitive bunny sounds (examples of onomatopoeia) throughout the story.

Another review:  “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!  Bunnies in my garden!” – Ella, two years old

Possible Issues

There are no concerns with this book.      

Further Discussion

Language Arts

OnomatopoeiaCandaceFleming.com a classroom guide and very good suggestions for teaching or reinforcing  onomatopoeia using Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

Vocabulary

Important words to define before or while reading:  yummy, gobbling, sowed, hoed, gnawed, sprouts, hurdle, Hmpf, trench, chomped, enormous, outsmarted, untouched, victory, smacking, overflowing

These are 4 useful ways to introduce new words to your child:

  1. Provide a simple, kid-friendly definition for the new word.
  2. Provide a simple, kid friendly example that makes sense within their daily life.
  3. Encourage your child to develop their own example.
  4. Keep your new words active within your house.

https://www.readingrockets.org/article/building-your-childs-vocabulary

Music

MCGREELY’S VEGETABLE PATCH

(to the tune of “Mary had a Little Lamb”)

 Lettuce greens are crisp to crunch, crisp to crunch, crisp to crunch

 Lettuce greens are crisp to crunch. I eat them in a salad.

 

Carrots grow deep in the ground, in the ground, in the ground,

Carrots grow deep in the ground with a green floppy hat.

 

 Peas are round and in a pod, in a pod, in a pod

Peas are round and in a pod, I pick them from a vine.

 

Tomatoes they are juicy red, juicy red, juicy red

Tomatoes they are juicy red, they come in many sizes.

https://www.candacefleming.com/pdfs/CGmuncha.pdf

 

Catholic Resources

The patron saint of gardeners is St. Fiacre.  His feast day is September 1.  He is often pictured carrying a spade and a basket of vegetables beside him. 

“Planting and Growing Your Catholic Garden” – “Plant this beautiful, Catholic garden, and see what fruit you will harvest! Invite our dear Lord and Lady to visit your garden. “Show your fruit” by copying at least one full Scripture or Catechism reference for each plant.”

I Come to the Garden Alone
By C. Austin Miles.

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear
Sounding in my ear
The Son of God discloses

And I walk with Him
And I talk with Him
And He tells me I am His own

And the joy I feel 
As I tarry here
None other has ever known…

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