BOOK REVIEW: The Marvelous Mud House by April Graney Illustrated by Alida Massari

Posted December 11, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Alida Massari, April Graney, book review / 0 Comments

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by B&H Publishing Group. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

BOOK REVIEW: The Marvelous Mud House by April Graney Illustrated by Alida MassariThe Marvelous Mud House by April Graney
Illustrator: Alida Massari
Published by B&H Publishing Group on 2017-10
Genres: Africa, Christian, General, People & Places, Religious, Values & Virtues, Young Adult
Pages: 32
Source: B&H Publishing Group
Amazon|Barnes&Noble|Goodreads


Ben and his American family live in a hungry ranch house where they are always wanting more. But then they travel far across the world to Kenya and visit the marvelous mud house where George and Mama George live. There, among the mango trees, they discover a marvelous lesson about what it's like to be full of joy instead.

This book looked so intriguing on the page when I was searching B&H for a new book to request.  My first thought was it would be perfect for Goobie and probably right on track for MooMoo to be able to read ‘mostly’ independently.  I was mostly right.  I loved the premise of this book.  Once I dived into it I loved the illustrations of this book.  Heck, it even has discussion questions in the back to continue the conversation with your Minions.  You rarely find discussion questions in a children’s book, to me a HUGE bonus.  In the vein of full disclosure I had some disappointments with this book.  It even sparked a mildly heated debate between Kristin and I (she also happens to be reviewing this book today.)  As I started compiling the author bio I lost a bit of that frustration but I’m still going to be sharing it here.

I didn’t get a chance to get the Minions take on this book.  I can say that Moo spent quite a bit of time curled up with it last weekend reading.  She asked for a lot of help with the words she didn’t know (heck I didn’t know them either – thank goodness for the pronunciation guide at the back of the book!)  What I can say is that the illustrations were amazing.  I can imagine without any effort the questions I would be asked.  Why did the go to Kenya?  I don’t know Goobie, it doesn’t say.  Why did George WANT to go to school?  You couldn’t wait to start school either.  I can also tell you with great truth that this book will be featured in a future Reflections post.  I also learned, while compiling the author bio, that this is a true story.  That changed a few things for me.  Not all things, but a few.

What didn’t it change? My frustration.  I feel like as a society, as a church and even as families we are teaching our children that they have to go far away to find others to minister to (and be ministered to as well).  The idea that we need to find other cultures, other means of survival, to truly find those in need.  We have adults now that are ignorant (lacking knowledge or awareness) to the needs in their own communities and neighboring communities.  Not necessarily willfully ignorant but all the same.  I can’t begin to imagine to afford to take the Minions across the globe.  I can imagine teaching them about the needs in our community.  I would love to be able to take them across the globe to minister/and be ministered to by others and provide them the opportunity to learn about new cultures and different ways of life.  I still love to share with them the opportunities to fill needs in our own community.  Ignorance of local need in adults trickles down to ignorance in our children.  Children who will one day be the adults in the lead.  Children who need opportunities to find grace and ministry where they are.  So that if they are called for the globe they are ready.

About April Graney

April Graney

April Graney is the author of The Marvelous Mud House, a whimsical true story about finding contentment and joy based on her family’s trip to Kenya. Her passions are pointing her own five children towards the grace of God, serving in ministry at New Life Ranch in Oklahoma with her husband, and teaching children and parents about God’s heart for the world and those living in poverty. She enjoys early morning runs with friends, growing tomatoes and herbs, taking naps, drinking coffee, blogging and attempting to be an artist. She has a master’s degree in Biblical studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, and has taught Bible study methods to teenagers, and spoken at leadership camps, and mother/daughter retreats.

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