Monday, October 2, 2023

Fun in the Mud: A Wetland Tale

Readers will get a bird's eye--or perhaps I should say fairy eye's view--of the wetlands in this engaging picture book that educates youngsters while also stirring their imagination. The main character details han excursion into a wetland area. I like how the author speaks directly to children with a hypnotic prose that encourages observers of the wetlands to keep their eyes and ears open to the magic that lies around them. And speaking of magic, the reader is introduced to 2 spritely characters: Jack and Mini who offer a tour as well as helpful information about salmon, tides, migration and other facts about resident wildlife.

The illustrations add to the serenity of the book with muted watercolors. The first splashes of color in the book are the boots of the child and the flowers she spies nearby. When the fairies present themselves, they help the child navigate and understand more about the wetlands. It's a fun way to gently instruct the readers without feeling like a science book. I loved the strong emphasis the book places on being still, taking the time to listen, and learning to appreciate what nature has to offer. A message needed now more than ever at a time when children are losing touch with the natural world as screens have overtaken school and play times. 

At the end of the book, the author includes information about a restored wetland that inspired the book. Interested readers may want to further research wetland habitats or even better, seek out local wetland areas to explore for themselves. Hopefully this book will help spark a greater interest in the natural world for children of all ages. This book would make a wonderful supplement to an elementary science classroom. 

Note for Christian parents: the author gives Mother Nature credit for the successful restoration of the wetland area described. This could lead to a discussion of varying worldviews and how it compares to the concept of a personal Creator involved in His creation.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary digital copy of Fun in the Mud through NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and the content of this review is entirely my own.


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