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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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 l
ebook, 32 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Annick Press (first published February 21st 2008)
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This is a very interesting title to use with children who are learning about map making, and finding a sense of place. The story protagonist is Matt, a boy who is new to town and starts constructing his own Mattland in the mud outside. The illustrations are from Matt's point of view and show only Matt's hands and an occasional reflection of his face in a puddle. As Mattland grows, the illustrations become more colourful and realistic, and the places within Mattland become more complex. New frien ...more
A young boy named Matt has moved three times, and his thoughts are that this is the worst place of all-no grass, trees, only rocks and dirt. And now it’s been raining, and there is mud and puddles. The story shows Matt imagining a place, and as he imagines, he builds a town, with the rocks as mountains, a stick making an indentation that creates a stream, which flows to a lake. A far off huge puddle becomes the ocean. Soon another child appears and adds to the town. It’s a wonderful story of ki ...more
Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert have collaborated to write the words for a creative children’s’ book that would be good to read with someone who has just moved or is about to move. The book would be a good starting point for a discussion about moving and making new friends.

It’s a story about Matt, a young boy who has moved quite a lot. Once again he has moved to a new town where he knows no one. The town has no grass and is filled with mud and has none of the trees that Matt likes to climb. Matt
Matt has moved three times with his family and now they have moved to a place filled with mud and water and no trees. So when Matt picks up a stick, he is tempted to break it or throw it, but instead he starts to draw in the mud. And as he draws, a world appears before him filled with lakes, rivers, mountains of rock, roads and houses. The closed doors of the other houses begin to open and an outsider joins him in building his land. When disaster strikes the tiny world, Matt's own world has expa ...more
Canadian Children's Book Centre
Matt’s family has moved three times, but this new subdivision is the most depressing environment he has ever lived in. He is surrounded by mud, water and leftover building materials. There is barely a climbing tree or blade of grass in sight. He knows no one. In his frustration, Matt picks up a stick and draws a line in the mud which fills with water. He decides to call the line Snake River. He then connects the line to a puddle which he names Turtle Lake. A jagged row of rocks become Dog Tooth ...more
Sep 05, 2008 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents, young children
Shelves: picture-books
What a sweet story! It's the tale of a boy who has just moved to a new neighborhood--one with lots of mud and nowhere to play/nothing to play with. A stick dragged through the mud creates Snake River...connected with a puddle makes Turtle Lake...and soon Mattland is born.

As the story progresses and the bits of rock and garbage on the lot are transformed into buildings and landmarks, the brown tones of the watercolor illustrations evolve into the colors of an imaginative landscape. Likewise, Mat
Kathleen Garber
What an adorable book! What a great idea, I wish I had this book as a child, creating towns in the mud sounds like JUST the thing I would have done for hours and hours.

This book is designed for ages 4-7 and I think it’s a wonderful addition to children’s literature. It’s not just the fun idea that makes this a great book. I couldn’t say it better than this sentence on the press release:

“With its imaginative illustrations and poignant text, this story captures the loneliness of childhood, magica
A clever combination of first person illustration and third-person narrative sweep us from the bleak friendlessness of a half-built subdivision to the sunny satisfaction of a job well done in this wordless triumph of teamwork and imagination.

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast.
A clever combination of first person illustration and third-person narrative sweep us from the bleak friendlessness of a half-built subdivision to the sunny satisfaction of a job well done in this wordless triumph of teamwork and imagination.

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast.

C Klassen
A story of play, creativity, community, construction, and mapping. Easily connects with early years students and classroom play and explorations.
Sandy Brehl
A story of remarkable power for one so simple and direct. A lonely boy in a seemingly squalid urban neighborhood uses creativity to channel his anger into constructing "something from nothing", out of which a community grows, physically, socially, and symbolically. Visual perspective makes this a terrific choice for inferencing, as well as for map studies.
Matt just moved to a run-down urban neighborhood. Out of bordom, he builds a symbolic community out of mud and sticks, which stimulates his real community to grow physically and socially.

Could be a good choice for inferencing, and/or map studies.
i would read this book when new student comes because this book about working-together. children in this book work together to make small viliiage. creative and fun book to read!
Stacie Graham
I loved this book! I moved a lot as a child and always just wanted my own world! Matt does so in this creative and fun book! (possible creative involvement?)
Annie Oosterwyk
Reminds me of Roxaboxen. Children creating a world out of the scraps left behind by adults and forming new communities of their own.
Leanly written, creative, if a little slight. With illustrations that work with the text, not against it, adding angularity.
This is a great book for children facing a move. It's also an example of the power of imaginative play.
Most excellent story from the idea thorough to the crafting to the illustrations. Well crafted.
I liked this book and its message, but the ending wrapped up a bit too quickly for me.
Cool story and could be a good start to an imagination program.
Feb 15, 2013 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-new
Nov 29, 2008 Candi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-kids
Ages 4-7
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Born and raised in southern Alberta, Hazel is the author of over forty books for children. Her work covers a wide age range – from picture books for the youngest set to novels for older grades – and delights in enterprising characters, interesting facts, gentle humour and the natural warmth of friendship and family. A popular presenter at schools and libraries across Canada, Hazel's books are also ...more
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