Jennifer Bardsley and Mez Thomas – A Land of Muddy Puddles

Halstead Press, Australia, 2021

This happy picture book reminds us of the joy of simple childhood delights.

Told in the voice of a small boy, it recounts his day from wake up to nap time, observing the beauties of nature in his own backyard on a rainy day – the pond with its fish, droplets falling from a tree, puddles to splash in, the delightful sensation of mud between his toes, a conversation with a friendly frog, a rainbow, the colours of the plants in a sunshower.

When Dad calls him in for morning tea, there’s more watery pleasure in the hot shower and watching the muddy water swirl down the drain. All that outdoor play fair tires out a small boy and our little explorer snuggles up happily with his teddies for a morning snooze.

He is tucked in by his lovely Dad, resplendant in a red skivvy – and is not the least bothered by the continuing pitter patter of the rain and the distant sound of thunder. Even in sleep, he goes on enjoying those puddles.

With lilting rhyme and endearingly illustrated by Mez Thomas, this book is sure to please adults and children during shared reading times. I especially like the involvement of both parents in this little boy’s day. I also like the focus on the simple joys of life – so important to remember. If adults want to find more talking points there is plenty of scope here to jump into explorations of weather and of water creatures.

Jennifer Bardsley is a Canberra based author. This is her first picture book. Her website is:

Thanks to Jennifer and Halstead Press for my review copy. An interview with Jennifer has been delayed by COVID-19 but will appear soon on Living Arts Canberra.