Mud Puddle was the first story that I ever made into a book. I made it up one very wet Spring in 1976 when I was working in a nursery school.
The playground had turned into a large mud hole and the children always got very dirty whenever they went outside, but there wasn’t really very much the kids could do about it.
I got the idea that the kids might like a story about mud; so I made up a story about a mud puddle that jumped on kids from out of trees. The kids thought it was a great story. The first time I told it they went out into the playground and looked up in the trees for mud puddles. They thought that mud puddles living in trees would explain why they got dirty so much. I decided that it was a pretty good story.
The kids started asking for it and I told it every day for about two months. When I sent out a bunch of stories to publishers, that was the one that got chosen to be my first book, even though it wasn’t the first story I had ever made up.
Jule Anne, the kid in Mud Puddle was one of my favorite kids in the nursery school. She happened to be sitting right in front of me when I got the idea for Mud Puddle. Jule Ann is now grown up and works for a travel agency in Toronto.
Mud Puddle always worked well when I told it except for one time in the High Arctic in a little town called Spence Bay. When I told it there the kids did not laugh. After I finished one kid asked, “What is mud?”
I have changed the words in the Mud Puddle book 4 times since the book was first published, and the pictures have changed once.