cover image Mr. and Mrs. Muddle

Mr. and Mrs. Muddle

Mary Ann Hoberman. Joy Street Books, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-36735-6

Without an ounce of sermonizing, this clever picture book in three chapters is a primer on compromise. Mr. and Mrs. Muddle, compatible in every other way, do not agree on cars. ``Mrs. Muddle liked cars. Mr. Muddle hated them. . . . It was a problem.'' They both have good reasons for their positions, and in an attempt to settle their differences, they buy a canoe. There is much good humor as the Muddles paddle in a puddle in the middle of their muddle, but eventually, over the capsized canoe, they learn that answers to problems can sometimes be found ``somewhere in the middle.'' With clever details, O'Neill's drawings happily expand the broad comedy of the droll text, which is full of puns and pratfalls children will appreciate. Ages 5-9. (Nov.)