Today's Fabulous Picture Book

Mud cover Mud

written by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Lauren Stringer

Spring brings "gooey, gloppy. mucky, magnificent mud."

What happens in the spring? Mud takes over the world. Feet in mud are happy feet. Hands in mud hold the promise of green soon to come. The simple text of this free-verse poem evokes sounds ("squish, squick") and images ("hills remember their colors") and relates the action ("dig it! dance it!"). The acrylic paintings give large scale to objects such as oak leaves that require nearly a full page to be expressed.

Related activities

Mud Fun

Provide opportunities for children to experience the tactile sensations of mud.  Bring in different types of soil, add water, and squish! You may want to do this activity outside, weather and facilities permitting. Be sure to provide clothing protection such as aprons or paint shirts and adequate supplies to clean up after the experience. (When observing and comparing mud from different soil types using the 5 senses I would not encourage tasting.)

For a less messy experience make your favorite recipe for modeling compound and color it brown. After exploring the consistency and texture of this "clean mud", make spring mud medallions. Form circles of “mud” and use a cookie or candy stamp to put a design on them. Be sure to make a small hole at the top of each piece so that it may be put on a yarn, string, or ribbon when dry.


Featured art

A woman standing on a ladder picking mittens from a tree