Saturday, July 17, 2010

Read to Me, Please!: Stuck in the Mud

Every week, I take Owen to the library for story hour and to checkout new books. After coming across a plethora of less than mediocre children's books, I have decided to review some of our favorites, and some of our not so favorites.

Stuck in the Mud by Jane Clarke

Stuck in the Mud by Jane Clarke is a bright and colorful story sure to delight all preschoolers.

Early in the morning, a hen wakes up to discover that one of her young chicks has run off! She is utterly distraught to find that he has gotten himself stuck in the mud! Hen tries to free him, only to end up stuck herself! Comedy ensues as one by one, the animals on the farm try to help out, only to meet with the same disastrous results as the hen. In the end, the young chick has a surprise for them all!

Clarke's repetitive, nursery-rhyme style of writing provides children with the opportunity to interact with the story. The predictable text allows children to anticipate and predict what will happen next, a necessary skill for developing readers to acquire . They will be eager to "push" and "pull" again and again as each animal struggles to help the little chick free himself from the mud.

Young children will be immediately drawn to Garry Parsons' bright and colorful illustrations in this picture book. Beyond the story itself, the pictures lend themselves to provide an interactive experience for young readers. Among the background images on each page, children will enjoy looking for all of the farm animals and watching for the farmer's wife through the farmhouse windows as she goes through her morning routine, unaware of the happenings outside.

This charming picture book is sure to become one of any child's favorite stories to read over and over again.

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