cover image Muledred


Kathryn Brown. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-256265-6

Winsome mule children and wise mule adults populate this entertaining and original first effort. The ebullient Muledred finds so many interesting things to do on the way to school that she is always late, to the annoyance of Master Skinner. Muledred's Grandpa gives her his pocket watch to help her keep track of the time, but she promptly loses it. The watch is found by her friends, who tease Muledred and promise to return it only if she gets to school on the time the next day. Clever Muledred manages to turn the tables on her friends, and earns the respect of her teacher and the appreciative ``hee-haws'' of the whole class. Soft-hued watercolors combine with authentic clothing and backgrounds to impart a feeling of nostalgia that works well with these unique characters. The pride Muledred feels in her ultimate punctuality and the poignant interaction between her and Grandpa is lovingly conveyed with style and empathy. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)