The Marvelous Mud House

When is the last time a book made you cry?

I have read The Marvelous Mud House a half dozen times now. Each time I open the pages, I think, “Okay, I won’t be so emotional this time; I know how it ends!” And each time, I find myself overwhelmed by the beauty and the joy of this story.

The Marvelous Mud House, by written by April Graney and illustrated by Alida Massari, follows the journey of a young Kenyan boy named George, his mother, and the Smith Family from Oklahoma. Graney masterfully brings us into a world that, while economically impoverished, is filled with the joy of hope and trust in God. She also shows us a bit of ourselves in the Smith Family, who has many material blessings and yet longs for more, for fulfillment. When these two worlds collide, every life in the story is changed.

As a writer and a reader, I have to comment on the presentation of this book. It is exquisitely done. Everything from word choice to font is done with excellence. The text is well-edited and beautifully written. The subtle elements of Mama George’s song–the shift in font and text layout, the music notes depiction of her song–as they walk down, down, down their mountain and up, up, up the next really brought the moment to life. I felt as if I could hear the faint notes of her song even from my home in Michigan. The tone and artwork is also impeccable. Massaari uses a very red and earthy palette to bring Kenya to the reader. With full pages of color illustration, there’s no doubt this book will catch the attention of every child who opens it.

Don’t be fooled, though. This may look like a children’s book, but I assure you–it is every bit as much for you and me as adults as it is for the children in our lives. Especially at this time of year, as we approach Christmas and the gift-giving spending frenzy, we need the reminder of what is truly important, what is truly marvelous, what is truly fulfilling.

If you’re looking for an excellent book to teach your children about materialism and giving in a gentle and fun way, The Marvelous Mud House is for you. I could not recommend this book strongly enough. Order your copy today. Sit with your children on Thanksgiving and share this amazing journey with George and his friends and family. Help grow the right expectations in your children of giving and having and hoping and trusting and finding joy. You will not be disappointed.

Pick up your copy of The Marvelous Mud House today from Christian BookAmazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite bookstore.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Marvelous Mud House from the author. I am under no obligation to write a favorable review, nor would I ever agree to such. My opinion and recommendation are solely my own and are in no way shaped by the author or my agreement to read and share her work.

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