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MUD by Mary Lyn Ray


by Mary Lyn Ray & illustrated by Lauren Stringer

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-15-256263-X
Publisher: Harcourt

 The unjustly neglected subject of ``gooey, gloppy, mucky, magnificent mud'' requires a unique perspective to transform it from the mundane to the celebrated. That perspective is right here, especially in newcomer Stringer's inspired artwork. The joy of a child playing in mud is tied to the change of seasons in such lines as ``A cold sweet smell rises in the ground, like sap in the snow.'' Ray (Shaker Boy, 1994, etc.) uses spirited language to show a child's playfulness as the mud thaws and comes alive with spring. This blithe view of one of the building blocks of life can come only from close observation; the point of view is at ground level, where readers can visually muck around in all that goo. The transformation of winter frost to mud serves as a spawning stage for the green of the new season; it's a concept treated innumerable times in books but never quite like this. Wallow in it. (Picture book. 3-8)