The master of the manic patterned tale offers a newly buffed version of his first published book, with appropriately gloppy new illustrations.
Like the previous four iterations (orig. 1979; revised 2004, 2006, 2009), the plot remains intact through minor changes in wording: Each time young Jule Ann ventures outside in clean clothes, a nefarious mud puddle leaps out of a tree or off the roof to get her “completely all over muddy” and necessitate a vigorous parental scrubbing. Petricic gives the amorphous mud monster a particularly tarry look and texture in his scribbly, high-energy cartoon scenes. It's a formidable opponent, but the two bars of smelly soap that the resourceful child at last chucks at her attacker splatter it over the page and send it sputtering into permanent retreat.
Score one for cleanliness. Like (almost) all Munsch, funny as it stands but even better read aloud, with lots of exaggerated sound effects. (Picture book. 6-8)