After Lavinia the badger snares and releases a veggie-stealing bunny in her garden, the thief promises to return with a musical band to help her garden grow.
The bunnies do arrive, “by the dozen, by the score— / cream and tan and black and brown, / and more and more and more.” They play all sorts of instruments—Bikadoroff depicts everything from banjos to bongos, pan pipes to a xylophone. The music is magical indeed. “Their serenade, enchanted, made / her onions huge, like moose. / Zucchinis, far from weeny, / were the size of a caboose.” Just two nights of music-making seem to produce the gigantic yields, as a page turn later, Lavinia’s veggies capture the ribbons at the “autumn harvest fair.” Lavinia whips up a splendid feast to thank the bunnies, who promise to return again to jam next spring. Richardson’s rhymes scan reasonably well, propelling the tale along. Bikadoroff’s pleasant watercolors winsomely depict Lavinia’s woodland garden, cozy tree-hollow home, and prizewinning produce, providing plenty of small details for children to study.
Singsong-y and sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)