Like all good children's books, it imparts an important message that children can take away as a moral or a lesson on life. There are two morals to this story I suppose; value what you have and be careful what you wish for, both of which can resonate with adults as well as children. I have no doubt parents reading this book to their children can gain something from it, as well as the child.
Gus is an eight-year-old boy growing up in a family of eight other siblings, who sometimes feels ignored, overlooked and undervalued in such a large family. Often teased by his older brothers and even his sisters, Gus wonders what it would be like to experience life as a single child, the sole focus of his parent's attention.
When he meets Milly, in the forest, on a family, camping trip, she takes him on an adventure that explores the possibilities of living a different life, for Gus.
McGrath is a talented author and makes her two principal characters Gus and Milly very believable and likable. This is a warm and gentle story that imparts her message with simplicity and love. The simple illustrations add to the appeal of the book, especially for children. The illustrations are not lavish, but they are sweet and simple, very much like the prose and characters in this book.
I really enjoyed this simple break away from the serious novels that I would normally read. As a book that could be read either as a bedtime read for a child, or a bedtime story in conjunction with an adult, I feel Mud on your Face fits the bill perfectly. I would recommend it to parents and grandparents everywhere as a gift for their children or grandchildren.
This book thoroughly deserves the five stars I have given it. I understand the author is producing a version of this book for the even younger set. An excellent idea, the sentiments expressed in this book are applicable to all age levels. A great, little story.