Author: Dalton James-
Illustrator:  Dalton James
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1-4327-4560-8

Click Here To PurchaseThe Mudhogs

It's not often that an 8 year-old will write and illustrate his own story, let alone get it published. Dalton James has accomplished this feat three times! He was kind enough to send me a copy of his latest book, The Mudhogs.

The story is told by Fangs, a tick who lives on the leg of Piggy. Piggy is the short, fat, smart pig who is the leader of the Mudhogs. Piggles is tall and skinny and likes to read. Piglet is little and sweet.

The Mudhogs like to hang out at the Barnyard Break to roll around in mud. But there hasn't been any rain in so long, that there is no more mud. The Mudhogs hold a meeting and decide they are going to do whatever it takes to make it rain. When dances and spells don't work, they decide to travel the world, looking for mud. For weeks they are on a quest for mud, in all of the towns, states and countries of the world. When they still cannot find any mud, they return home, only to discover that it has been raining the whole time they were gone. 

The moral of the story: "Sometimes all you are looking for is at home if you just wait for it."

The story and pictures are very cute. Dalton demonstrates talent in both his writing and his illustrating. While they are obviously the work of a child, they are entertaining enough to interest other children. Older children and adults will get a kick out of all of Dalton's puns on location names, such as "Snortessee" and "Piggselvania".

The fact that the story has such a good moral to it also demonstrates a maturity in Dalton that isn't always found in other 8 year-olds. It may be a little too abstract for the younger set, but I think that it is a lesson well-remembered. 

Other books by Dalton include The Heroes of Googley Woogley and The Sneakiest Pirates. It will be interesting to follow this young man over the next several years!

Click Here To PurchaseThe Mudhogs