Don’t Blame the Mud – Marty Machowski

Don't Blame the Mud Marty Machowski
Don't Blame the Mud by Marty Machowski, Craig MacIntosh
Also by this author: God Made Boys and Girls: Helping Children Understand the Gift of Gender
Published by New Growth Press on May 27, 2019
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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For young readers and families, Don’t Blame the Mud paints a vivid and accurate picture of sin and God’s plan of redemption. Written by best-selling children’s author Marty Machowski, this beautifully illustrated picture book teaches children how to recognize the lure of temptation and the truth that bad choices lead to bad consequences.

Parents, teachers, and caretakers can help children identify with the real-life draw of temptation and the real-life consequences of sin, understanding the value of God’s salvation through the cross. Instead of teaching kids how to deal with a problem, Machowski uncovers the real issue of sin and provides a gospel answer.

Max is just walking home from school, walking on the sidewalk, doing his best not to get his school clothes dirty. But it just looks so adventuresome over there by the trail along the creek. It’s probably not the safest path, but Max thinks he can walk the fun trail while still staying clean.

But he can’t. One wrong move leads to a huge flop in the mud and now Max has to figure out how to hide his dirty clothes. It’s not my fault, Max reasons, I was doing fine until I slipped and fell…It’s all the mud’s fault.

Despite Max’s best efforts, his parents soon learn of his muddy trek home—as evidenced by the now muddy carpet, bed, and even walls. Max cleans himself up, but the evidence of his mess remains.

In Don’t Blame the Mud, Marty Machowski leads young readers on a journey of realization: they are responsible for their own behaviors and actions—and bad behaviors are hard to cover up. They stay with you on the inside even once you’ve cleaned them up on the outside. Mom and Dad lead Max into forgiveness and repentance. They show him that mud is like sin: it gets everywhere and can’t be hidden. We can only ask Jesus to come into our lives and remove it.

The book ends with a parent’s guide on helping children understand sin and the Gospel message. Machowski addresses the nature of temptation and sin, pointing to Jesus as the only one that can wash us clean. Craig Macintosh’s illustrations also delight, particularly his Ghost Buster-esque portrayal of the ever-present mud.

Teaching children about sin can be difficult. We want to impress on them the seriousness of sin while doing so in an appropriate way and realizing that it is ignorance and not malice that drives most misdeeds. Machowski does a great job of portraying this and helping parents and kids learn more about overcoming the temptation of “mud.”