As the temperature slowly (on and off) climbs, the banks of snow dwindle, the ground becomes soaked and things tend to get mucky outside. It’s the time of year when shoe bottoms are often incased in thick dirt, floors and carpets are tracked with dirty footprints left by pets or children, and nature begins to awaken. Sure, mud can be fun. However, instead of getting our feet stuck in a squishy mess, let’s stay clean and immerse in it via the wonder of books!
There are many wonderful titles that compliment this season. I’ve selected a few books that I feel showcase all of the pudding-puddle drama and springtime ventures we usually experience in late March and early April. I’ve also included two easy planting projects that I personally tried at home! From making mudpies to being a snail trainer to an indoor garden, there’s a story just waiting to unfold.
Until next time, may you find yourselves digging through a stack of books and not a pile of sloppy dirt — unless you’re making something cool, of course!
Tabatha Jean D'Agata
Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball
Written by David A Kelly, Illustrated by Oliver Dominquez
Ages 8 to Adult
Lena Blackburne’s passion was baseball. He watched the game, he played the game, and he coached the game. He loved everything about it, except the shiny and slick baseballs and the way players broke them in. During Lena’s playing career he had played 550 games, but it wasn’t until his “Secret Mud” that his name became a legendary part of baseball. Could there actually be a way more effective than spitting on the ball to solve the new-ball problem? And did Lena stumble upon the answer? A contributing part to baseball history and education, Miracle Mud is a must read for sports fans!
Written by Robert Munsch, Illustrated by Sami Suomalainen
Ages 4 and up
When Julie Ann goes outside, a mud puddle is waiting to jump on her. Will she ever be able stay clean? This is a simple story supported by illustrations. Aside from the bathtub scenes of the main character, this is a fun read-aloud.
Explore Spring: 25 Great Ways to Learn About Spring
Written by Maxine Anderson
Ages 5 to 12
Author Maxine Anderson presents 25 ways to revel in the wonder of spring. Learn about trees and plants, make a kite, and do experiments too! Readers are also encouraged to keep a journal of their environmental and scientific activities and discoveries.
The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun
Written by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher
Available on Kindle or Paperback
Plan, grow and thrive. Get outdoors and design a play-friendly garden with different themes. Kids will love developing their “green thumb” utilizing the 101 activities available. There are easy-to-follow guides and photos that will make planting any garden fun for kids. This is a must-read for anyone willing to get their hands dirty.