A stirring story about the infectious pleasures of play.
Matt is miserable. The subdivision where he now lives is surrounded by nothing but muddy fields of rocks and sticks. But when Matt ventures out, his imagination kicks in. He draws a muddy, winding line and names it Snake River. A pile of rocks becomes the Dog Tooth Mountains. Just like that, Mattland is born.
Soon a girl shows up with a handful of helpful odds and ends. Piece by piece, she and Matt expand their new world with popsicle-stick bridges and scrap-paper boats. And when a rainstorm finally threatens to wash everything away, all the neighborhood kids appear and help stave off the flood.
Evocative of childhood friendships and with sublime illustrations that brighten in color as the story progresses, Mattland is an inspiring ode to cooperative play.
“The creation of Mattland is a riveting notion that kids will be keen to emulate.”
“A world worth exploring.”
“Sparse prose and skillful illustrations . . . will give young readers a sense of the experience of displacement.”
“Lovely . . . successful on all fronts.”
“[A] beautifully imagined, beautifully executed picture book.”
“Has much to offer those who find themselves in a new place, and to creative souls needing inspiration . . . eloquent and beautifully illustrated.”
“A rich and multi-layered testament to imagination and the collaborative nature of play. Highly Recommended.”
“One of those perfect picture books where text and illustrations brilliantly play off each other.”