Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2011 January #1 *Starred Review* There's no denying it, and little use trying to stop it. Kids love mud, and here's a picture book that positively revels in all its gleefully gloppy glory. A young girl marches out after a rainstorm with her toys, demanding a good bit of playtime. Out of the ground springs a little creature that looks kind of like a cross between an onion and, well, a friendly turd (he even has a cute little mud-butt). He introduces himself as Mudkin and asks the girl to be his queen. She's more than happy to oblige, naturally, and they're off on a sludge-filled adventure. Mudpies? Please. Try a mud carriage that carries our beaming mud queen up to a dazzlingly goopy castle where she looks out over a throng of adoring mudkins. Gammell tells the whole story with hardly any words. The girl has a few lines of dialogue, but Mudkin's responses are all a scrawl of indecipherable brown smears, offering a neat chance for kids to engage and fill in their own ideas for what he's saying. But what will really bring on the squeals is the joyfully messy watercolors that look composed of thick, overhand tosses of mud splatters and heartily ground-in grass stains. Just about the perfect book to cozy up to and relive fond memories of pre-bathtime muckfests. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2011 January #3
School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2011 March
PreS-Gr 1âMud holds a natural attraction for children it seems, and Gammell imaginatively plays off that premise with pages full of swirls and drips of brownish colors set against grays and blues of showery skies. As the story begins, a young unnamed heroine commandeers her stuffed animal playmates to come outside for a post-rainstorm romp. Before long, a splotch of mud catapults skyward, announcing the arrival of Mudkin, a brown, babylike creature whose head resembles a Hershey's chocolate kiss. Naming the child his Queen, Mudkin invites her to play; soon she, too, is reveling in the wet dirt, wearing a mud cape and a crownlike pointy hat. What a day they haveâcomplete with a carriage ride to a castle (mud-built, of course) and a welcome by a bevy of little Mudkins. When the returning rain washes Mudkin and her earthy costume away, the youngster gathers up her toy friends, the left-behind hat, and, with happy memories of a magical day, heads home. For Mudkin's few phrases, Gammell cleverly places mud splats for dialogue, nudging children into supplying their own interpretations. There's little text; the artist's energetic style and rain-splashed colors carry the story forward.âBarbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
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