Written by Robert Munsch
Illustrated by Dusͮan Petricͮić
In Mud Puddle, Robert Munsch and Dusͮan Petricͮić create a delightful story of Jule Ann, who fights dirty with an incredibly antagonistic mud puddle. The illustrations are simple, but effective in showing Jule Ann’s dilemma and emotions as she tries to outwit her nemesis. Second grade students will surely relate to the feeling of trying to avoid trouble to no avail. At times, all of us have felt like no matter what we do to stay clean, we just can’t keep from getting dirty! This book is a lovely read aloud, and provides a nice segue into discussing literal versus symbolic stories.
Students could discuss whether the mud puddle was real or if Jule Ann really was being attacked or if she was simply accidentally getting dirty. Students may even explore the idea that this book is a parable for trouble finding us. As a journal, students may write about a time that they tried to stay out of trouble unsuccessfully and how, looking back, they may make different choices. Students may also write a note offering advice to Jule Ann. The conclusion of this book leaves some readers wondering if the mud puddle was really gone for good, so a more challenging writing assignment would be to write a sequel.
As a science connection, students could make mud in class (or outside, depending on the space available). They may experiment with the correct ratio between water and dirt. Some dirt works better than others, so students would of course record their findings about which dirt works best and how much water is needed to make mud. This activity would of course be terribly messy, so students should wear an old t-shirt. Mud Puddle is whimsical, but may easily be used to guide writing and science activities.
- Title: Mud Puddle
- Author: Robert Munsch
- Illustrator: Dusͮan Petricͮić
- Publisher: Annick Press
- Reviewer: Sharon Schulte
- Hardback: 32 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-55451-426-7
- Genre: fiction/self/feelings