MUDDY PLAY SCHOOL
by Dee White - July 19th, 2010
Congratulations to Kathryn Apel whose gorgeous picture book This Is the Mud! is making it’s television debut this week.
This Is the Mud ! will be read this Wednesday 21st July at Play School on ABC 1 (around 9.30am)
So we thought it would be a great time to talk to Kathryn about her tale of mud and mayhem.
Kathryn started writing when she was reading picture books to her rural babies and couldn’t find stories that reflected their rural lifestyle.
She has always enjoyed writing and was good at high school English, but says she never would have imagined she would be an author.
What inspired Kathryn to write this book?
This Is the Mud! was written after yet another enjoyable reading of Jez Alborough’s Duck in the Truck. We (I!) loved that muddy book. I don’t recall my train of thoughts that led to my writing, but by my bedtime that same night, I’d written This Is the Mud .
This Is the Mud is about a cow goes for a drink in a dried up waterhole. She gets stuck in the mud. And somehow everyone who tries to rescue her gets stuck too. (You’d think it was fun, playing in the mud!)
Kathryn says the book was written for preschool age – plus or minus a few years
But I know a fair few adults who’ve been in similar situations and have given a snort of laughter on reading!
My 6 year-old son chose it as my entry for the CYA, otherwise it might still be tucked away.
Why kids enjoy This Is the Mud ?
Muck, mess, mud and mayhem? What kids wouldn’t like that! Not to mention the machines… I think it also appeals to kids because of the easy rhythm and rhyme – and the gorgeous illustrations!
I know rural kids love it because it’s a story they own. It looks like their farm, or their cow, or it happened to their dad… but it’s a fun read for all kids.
About the Main Character
(Smiling) The main character is a placid cow chewing her cud – though there is one page where she looks a little less than friendly, which gets a great reaction from kids.
What I love most about her is the fact that Warren Crossett has based her on one of my hand-reared, pet cow, Amber who I see everyday wandering around my paddock. (The story isn’t about her, though!)
What sets this book apart from others?
It’s rural Australian farming-ness. And the fact that kids aren’t belted over the head with it. It’s NOT educational – totally written and illustrated for fun.
Kathryn says the book fits themes about farming and Australia within the school curriculum, but it is also a good model of natural rhythm/rhyme for poetry studies.
This Is the Mud! is Kathryn’s second published book – though it was my first acceptance. Picture books just take longer to publish.
Find out more about Kathryn and her work at katswhiskers.wordpress.com