"MUDDY" - A Picture Book about Muddy Watters is now available from Simon & Schuster


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The words and pictures here mix exuberance with melancholy. Mahin’s words have a beat all their own, capturing the lows and highs with poetic verve. Turk’s watercolor, ink, and collage artwork fills pages, exploding with a neon intensity—the equivalent of a dynamic guitar riff... Read the book, then get kids the music.”—Booklist, starred review

“Turk’s breathtaking pictures fuse historical newspaper clippings, paint, printer’s ink, oil pastels, and china marker. His symbolic palette shifts from sun-seared, white-gold cotton, red earth, and undulating river-blue to Chicago’s urbane, neon-lit green, blue, and black. This poetic celebration of Muddy Waters’ musical truth is lifted still higher by Turk’s extraordinary art.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lyrically told with a lilting cadence by debut author Mahin... Turk’s mixed-media illustrations leap off the page... The soul of the blues sings out through the pages.”—School Library Journal

“Mahin’s text is engaging, rhythmic, soulful, and written to reflect the blues that influenced Muddy Waters.”—The Horn Book Magazine

Written by Michael Mahin | Illustrated by Evan Turk

A picture book celebration of the indomitable Muddy Waters, a blues musician whose fierce and electric sound laid the groundwork for what would become rock and roll.

Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn’t put food on the table, Muddy didn’t listen. And when record producers told him no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made.

Soon the world fell in love with the tough spirit of Muddy Waters. In blues-infused prose and soulful illustrations, Michael Mahin and award-winning artist Evan Turk tell Muddy’s fascinating and inspiring story of struggle, determination, and hope.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
September 5, 2017

About the author and illustrator

Michael Mahin has loved music since his grandmother gave him his first piano lesson at the age of five. He admires people like Muddy Waters who, despite great suffering, find the courage to be themselves in a world that wants them to be something else. Michael hopes his books inspire kids to do the same. He lives in San Diego, California, with his wife, their two children, and several guitars that he wishes he played better. Visit him at MichaelMahin.com/a>.

Evan Turk is an author, illustrator, and animator working in New York City. An Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Honor winner, he is the illustrator of the award-winning book Grandfather Gandhi and its companion Be the Change, and the author/illustrator of The Storyteller. Evan is originally from Colorado and loves traveling and learning about other cultures through drawing. He is a graduate of Parsons and continues his studies as a member of Dalvero Academy. Visit him at

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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