written by Mary Lyn Ray
published by Harcourt Brace, 1996
ISBN 0-1520-2461-1 (pb)
One night it happens. Maybe it begins in the warmth of the day, but it’s always at night that it happens. Earth becomes unfrozen, and then there is... MUD! This ode to muddy hands and feet, brown earth, and new grass celebrates the joy of mud and the coming of spring.
A Personal Note
I was digging in my front garden with my two-year-old daughter when the manuscript for Mud arrived in the mail. As soon as I read it I immediately fell in love with Mary Lyn Ray’s poetic text that begins in winter and ends in spring, with “mud” as the main character. Since it was my first picture book, I had no idea what I was doing, but just let the words inspire me to paint and draw mountains of sketches; all of which I sent to the publisher in no particular order. Thank goodness I had an editor who was equally enthusiastic and patient enough to help me organize them into the book, Mud.
Whenever I dig in the garden I am reminded of painting and I know why... there is a direct connection to the process of creation. Spring was returning as I finished Mud. A tray of seedlings sits in the sunlight while I hold up one of the illustrations. Behind me are several of the initial studies painted before painting the originals for Mud.
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