Mud Puddle was the first book ever published by Robert Munsch. It is a charming story of a little girl and a big mud puddle. Jule Anne’s mummy dresses her up in clean new clothes one day. But when Jule Anne goes out to play, her clothes don’t stay clean for very long. She runs into the house screaming, “Mummy! Mummy! A Mud Puddle jumped on me!” Mummy cleans every inch of Jule Anne—including her eyes, her mouth, her ears, her nose, and her belly button. But when she returns outside, the dreaded mess attacks her again. How will Jule Anne rid herself of this pesky situation that hides in an apple tree and on top of the house?
Jule Anne dons a big yellow rain coat and rain hat and sets outside in search of the evil force. When she doesn’t find it, she takes off her rain gear. And lo and behold, it sees this and comes running out of nowhere and attacks her again. How does it do it? What can Jule Anne do to keep the evil force away from her so she doesn’t get dirty again?
After much thought, Jule Anne decides to take it on with a bar of soap. After her clever solution, it never returns again. The happy conclusion to this story shows children there are answers to some of their most troublesome questions.
The illustrations in Mud Puddle are done by Sami Suomalainen in a kid-friendly style packed with action. Jule Ann’s dog is quite a character and gets into the action, too. Readers who are just starting to read independently will love this story. The heroine in this story determines to show the Mud Puddle a thing or two, and she wins in the end.
Whenever kids come upon a challenge or obstacle in any of Munsch’s picture books, they always emerge triumphant. Jule Ann is no exception. These types of books are very important to children, and to parents, as they can take ordinary, everyday situations and find solutions that children can understand.