Mrs. Muddle’s Holidays
- written by Laura F. Nielsen
- illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
- Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008
- 32 pp., full-color illustrations
- ages 6-8
- ISBN-10: 0-374-35094-9
- ISBN-13: 978-0-374-35094-9
Katie and all her neighbors on Maple Street celebrate most of the popular holidays. Some of them celebrate various religious holidays and unusual holidays as well. Then Mrs. Muddle moves into the neighborhood, and Katie sees her hanging pieces of yarn in the trees to celebrate First Robin Day. This is just the first of the made-up holidays Mrs. Muddle reveals to the Maple Street kids each month. After Mrs. Muddle gets all the kids involved in the fun, they try to think of a holiday Mrs. Muddle doesn’t know about.
I am always telling people that I never meet authors before I illustrate their books. I actually did meet Laura Nielsen after the editor of Mrs. Muddle’s Holidays asked me to illustrate it. Laura came to hear me give a speech about illustrating books. I was afraid she was going to yell at me and tell me not to mess up her book! Laura was so nice, though. She told me she didn’t actually have a clear picture in her head of what Mrs. Muddle should look like. That was good, because I sure did have an idea. To me, Mrs. Muddle was Mrs. Small, the lady next door when I was 3 or 4 years old. She played with me and my sister all the time — even when she didn't have to babysit. What I remember most is when she gave us hot chocolate and peanut brittle after we sledded down the huge hill in her backyard all afternoon.
Laura has built a fun and educational website devoted to Mrs. Muddle and her holidays. Check it out at mrsmuddle.com.