Mudkin, 2011

Haven’t we, mankind, been trolling around in the mud for time immemorial? Didn’t our early humans live in it, draw with it, build with it?  Make poultices and cure illnesses with it? Eat it for nausea and digestion. Make beauty products with it. Don’t we still do all those things? Mud calls to us, use me, squeeze me, roll in me, I’m so primordial I must be good for something. In Boryeong, Korea, a festival of mud covered carousers gather each summer for baths of clay and mud and wrestling and near-naked bodies. You think it isn’t about the naked bodies too…?

The adds for spa mud and clay baths might have something to say too…


(Turns out sex sells anything. Even mud.)

But setting aside sex, there’s something else inherently human about loving mud. And yet, even with all this goo at the very roots of your being, you probably left your ability to indulge in pure muddy goodness far behind, long ago. Unless you’re a mountain bike fiend or 5 years old. So, unless you’re planning a trip to Korea, if you properly want to revisit the glory of mud pies, mud toes, and mud smeared all over your fully clothed body, you might need to turn to reminiscence. Or Stephen Gammel’s Mudkin. As the title hints… there’s lots and lots of it.

It’s easy to unabashedly adore Mudkin. There’s few words. Typically exhilarating splashes of Gammel color images (he can squeeze tons of colors, even out of mud). The unpretentious queen, her little blobby and indecipherable friend, Mudkin, and all the mud people in their kingdom of mud. 

When the rain washes them away and the queen trudges home, you think, ahhhh, so nice to be clean. But only because you got to be so damn muddy in the first place.

2 thoughts on “Mudkin, 2011

  1. Pingback: Kick off: what makes a picture book good, besides the pictures? « Little Book Review

  2. Pingback: Old Black Fly, 1992 « Little Book Review

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