Perfect Picture Book Friday: WHEN WATER MAKES MUD Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! I’m thrilled to share with you today’s featured story, written by one of my dearest kid-lit friends, Janie Reinhart. And because I’m jumping for joy that her debut picture book JUST LAUNCHED, I’m offering a giveaway! Please make sure you leave a comment and share the post on social media for extra tickets in the giveaway hat.


Written by Janie Reinart

Illustrated by Morgan Taylor

Book design by Alayne Kay Christian

Published by Blue Whale Press (June 1, 2021)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Refugees, family, kindness

Synopsis: From Amazon:

When war forces two sisters to flee their home in South Sudan with nothing but the clothes they are wearing, Big Sister strives to help Little Sister smile again at the refugee settlement. But as quickly as Little Sister’s smile appears, it disappears: that is until water makes mud. In the end, Big Sister’s artistry and kindness brings hope to their situation.

This title is a tribute to the resourcefulness of children who have no toys, but continue to play and is dedicated to the 200,000 refugee children living at the Bidibidi settlement in Uganda.

Why I Love This Book:

  1. This is an important story on so many levels…and it shines a much-needed light on this particular refugee problem and on similar situations throughout the world.
  2. This is a beautiful story of kindness, family, and how children can find beauty and hope in a bucket of mud.
  3. Vibrant illustrations that put you right in the setting.

If you’d like to find out more about the illustrator, the author did an interview on her blog:


Photo courtesy:

Oh my gosh…do you remember playing in the mud? I sure do! Most kids adore it but don’t often get the opportunity because we don’t want them getting all ‘dirty’. But mud isn’t really dirty…it’s just dirt/earth/soil after all. You can fill a little kiddie pool with mud, gather some old pots/spoons/containers/plates/whatever, dress your kids in old clothes…or, if it’s hot summer, just a bathing suit…and let them go to town. Then you can turn on a fine mist spray with the hose – and provide another hour or more of fun as they get clean. Here are a bunch of awesome ideas for fun in the mud:

And remember that the best gift we can give an author is to buy their book, review their book, tell friends about their book, and ask our local library to purchase copies of their book. I was excited to see WHEN WATER MAKES MUD is a #1 New Release on Amazon…let’s keep the buzz going, dear friends, especially because the publisher is donated ALL of the publisher’s profits are being donated to UNICEF. Thank you so much, Blue Whale Press and Clear Fork!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of WHEN WATER MAKES MUD…maybe you can tell us about your favorite mud puddle adventure.

And for more wonderful picture book reviews and activities, please hop over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday post.

45 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: WHEN WATER MAKES MUD Plus Giveaway

  1. What a BEAUTIFUL story of hope to CELEBRATE today’s holiday: “The Audacity to Hope.”
    Something we NEED to CELEBRATE–and LIVE–EVERY DAY!!!
    YEA, for Blue Whale Press donating ALL their profits to UNICEF! Yet ANOTHER reason to go out and buy this one!
    My Mud Puddle Memory: I SO LOVED making mud pies as a kid! I would spend all day “baking” in my backyard, then pack my pies in my little rusty antique car, and drive around the neighborhood to “sell” them. HAPPY memories!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Jamie and Morgan! What a perfect (and necessary) story to share! Congratulations! One of my favorite stories happened when my son and daughter had a cousin over to play. They found a mud hole (I’m pretty sure they created it) in the backyard. They had a ball! And were covered head to toe with mud. Dirt fun is great for kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful story of how children find hope in everyday play. Such resilience. Enjoyed the interview with Morgan Taylor and following her process of illustrating this inspiring story. And, I’m thrilled for Janie, as I didn’t realize she was working on this book!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember playing in mud, making mud pies and the smooth texture of it on my hands. I hope children will want to experience the same after enjoying this book. Congratulations, Janie and Morgan!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats, Janie! This reminds me of how the two brothers in When Stars Are Scattered entertain themselves day in/day out in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Poignant and such a childlike response to an impossible situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such an important book—congrats, Janie! Loved the interview with your illustrator, too. May I ask if you got any #ownvoices flak? It’s so important for kids to learn about other cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deborah. I agree. A picture book story is a means for children in the USA to empathize with children in other places in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow! This feels important and wonderful on so many levels at the same time. Thank you for encouraging us to look at the world around us, to care for others and to find joy in the little things all at the same time. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ingrid, thank you. That’s exactly what I told Nora (the National Geographic photographer ) whose pictures started the story for me. —continue to keep us connected to the world around us.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I remember one of my daughters who loved playing in the mud and dirt and making all kinds of “food” creations that I would have to pretend to eat! I would love to share this book with my students and add it to our classroom library!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations to my friend and CP, Janie Reinart, and the talented illustrator, Morgan Taylor! I’ve pre-ordered my copy of this beautiful story filled with love, kindness, and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

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