A dozen years since they first made an appearance, and not a day older or wiser, Fleming’s three young cottontails return to bedevil Mr. McGreely (Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!, 2002, etc.).
The bunnies still have a few tricks up their sleeves to get under Mr. McGreely’s skin. Where once they ate his garden to the ground, now they are doing their unintended best to undermine his vacation, one he has taken expressly to get away from the “floppyeared, pufftailed twitchwhiskers.” They manage to stow away in his car, then happily join him on his beach towel. Mr. McGreely storms off to do some shell collecting (“No bunny—nohow, noway—is sharing my fun day”). He returns with paltry fragments that he is very proud of, only to find that the bunnies have found a trove of spectacular shells. His kite flies for two seconds—again, he’s very proud—while the bunnies paraglide with their kite, and so on. In the end, there is a message about teamwork, which is not to be ignored, but it is Fleming’s text that raises the bar of joy to such heights, with her quirky internal rhymes—“Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, grab!…Tippy-nab”—and descriptive language. Karas invests each character with acres of personality.
It’s a happy reunion with the bunnies for children, if a dubious one for Mr. McGreely. (Picture book. 4-8)