Thursday, July 11, 2024

21 Things To Do With a Mud Pie by Jane Wilsher

 Mud pies, anyone? When I saw today's read, I was all in for a look...and very curious as to what the suggestions might be surrounding mud pies. While I know mud pies in their 'baked goods' form, I have no doubt they can lead to other projects. Let's see what this book suggests and how creative it gets.

An outdoor activity book
by Jane Wilsher
Illustrated by Teo Georgiev
Ivy Kids Eco
Children's Activity
32 pages
ages 6 to 8


Build towers out of baked mud bricks, gather soil to make a home for worms or ants, and decorate a gigantic mud pie with flowers, twigs, and leaves.

Packed with arts and crafts, games, thought exercises, science experiments, and more, this fun and educational book gets kids to experience the wonder of nature – and talks them through how to safely (and cleanly!) play with slimy, squelchy mud.

…all while helping them to develop an understanding of its fantastic superpowers, from its role in growing plants to the warm and comfortable 
home it makes for diverse animal species.

dedicated how-to boxes and step-by-step instructions, as well as splashes of informative detail on ecosystems, plant growth, and more, this book is a companion to all sorts of outside activities that can be done wrapped up warm on a muddy autumn day, or baking in the sun at the height of summer.

The activities can be done in any order, some alone, some with a grown-up, or group of friends.



Squishy, grimy, and packed with oh-so-many possibilities, the wonder of mud is explored in a way that won't necessarily have parents pointing kids to the bathtub with tons of soap in hand.

These pages take a peek at the world of mud. While I expected this read to head into a crafting direction—and it definitely does that too—it's takes a look at the purpose, living space, and a bit of science surrounding mud. The table of contents gives a run-down of the 21 mud ideas, which include everything from the classic mud-pie creations to more biology based worm habitats and gardening in the mud. And for those parents, who are already cringing at the idea of the upcoming mess, there's a tip section, which lays out some basic, safe, and cleanlier handling tips (although it is mud, after all). I was a little sad to see that the '21 things' aren't really 21 separate ideas, but do cheat a little with some sliding more into explanations or preparations rather than specific, independent ideas. But there's still tons of goodness in these pages.

Each page carries a very active illustration with characters, who are doing several different things at the same time. The running-around gives a busy impression at first glance, but also draws in. The text, which describes facts or how-to for the projects, is in block form (for the most part) and well set to the age group as well as clearly printed, but there are also more than a few extra bits of information scattered and placed everywhere. These take every shape and form to create an almost hectic scene, but it does a lovely job at bringing readers to take the time to gaze at every page and sink in. It keeps things lively and offers quick spurts of facts and more. The how-tos are well done and should be no problem for readers to follow.

Not only creative readers will enjoy the various project ideas, but science fans will have a chance to learn more about dirt and mud. This makes it a lovely add-on for homeschool themes or as a fun alternative to classroom possibilities as well.

And here they are...

Jane Wilsher is an author and editor from the UK, and the founder of bop Publishing. Jane is the author of What Do Scientists Do All Day? (Wide Eyed, Editions, 2020), An Encyclopedia of Unbelievable Facts (Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2021) and 21 Things to Do With a Tree (Ivy Kids, 2023).

Teo Georgiev is an independent Helsinki-based illustrator working in publishing, children’s literature, and branding.

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