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Ted Staunton.
Illustrated by Maryann Kovalski.

Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1983.
unpaged, paper, $3.95.
ISBN 0-919964-5-6.

Preschool-Grade 1
Reviewed by Fran Newman.

Volume 12 Number 1
1984 January

Every child should be blessed with a mother like Michael's. When her son becomes Puddleman by submerging in the mud of his sandbox and demands a peanut butter sandwich, she does not get cross or yell or punish. Instead, she calmly says that peanut butter sandwiches are for boys and mud pies are for muddy monsters. Michael then has to reconsider his decision to become one with the mud that small children love so much. He puts on his cap because that way he can pretend to be Michael again. On his way back to the house, a convenient rain shower washes him clean (de-muds him?), and he has his lunch. But being Michael is dull, and Ted Staunton and his excellent illustrator leave us with Michael once more jumping into the lovely mud and Michael's brother telling him "You're going to get it." What an opportunity for creative thinking here: what might Michael do next? What will happen if it doesn't rain the mud away? What will his mother say this time?

Maryann Kovalski's orangey-brown drawings complement the story beautifully. I have only one small quibble: will a sandbox that is wet really provide the kind of gooey mud covering depicted here? Otherwise, an excellent buy.

Fran Newman, Spring Valley P. S., Brighton, ON.
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