Friday, February 25, 2011

Mudkin: Stephen Gammell

My love of picture books started at a very young age.  I love a story that can be told without words. The child of artists, my first books were colorful works of art, filled with illustrations worth framing. It is the very artful cover of Mudkin that drew me to it.

Mud and imagination are two of a child's more prized possessions. When there's a pause in the rain, a young girl is greeted by a cute mud creature called Mudkin. Mudkin takes the girl as his queen and introduces her to the whole mud population. When the rain returns, her new kingdom is washed away, but her mud crown will remain forever.

The story, like so many imaginative games that children play, is magical and whimsical. The total number of words in Gammell's book number less than two dozen, but the illustrations communicate volumes about playtime. Mudkin is reminiscent of childhood, not only because of the story, but also because of the beautiful watercolor pictures. I found myself staring at a couple of the pictures, awed by the detail. Stephen Gammell is one of those rare artists who is not only an illustrator, but a story-teller as well.

Rating: $$$

ARC received courtesy of Lerner Publishing Group.

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