cover image Mudkin


Stephen Gammell, Carolrhoda, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7613-5790-2

Sure, rain showers bring flowers, but they also bring plenty of mud—the star of Gammell's (How the Nobble Was Finally Found) exuberant picture book romp. Post-rain, a girl heads out to play, queen of her stuffed animals and all that she surveys. When a mud creature with a turnip-shaped head splashes up out of a puddle, the girl gains a new pal and a new subject who provides her with a grand robe, crown, carriage, and even a castle, all made out of the brown muck. As another thunderstorm blows in, Mudkin and his fantastic kingdom wash away—leaving only the girl's crown. In this nearly wordless volume, readers see Mudkin's communiqués as splotches of mud, while the girl's speech is one side of a conversation that makes perfect sense to her. ("Hi... what's your name?" [Muddy smudges.] "Mudkin... it's nice to meet you"). Gammell's signature style—wispy, loose lines with paint splatter accents—flows freely like a muddy daydream over the spreads. No doubt that kids will be checking puddles for impish, fun-loving Mudkins of their own come spring. Ages 5–8. (Mar.)