Most children will encounter Mud the Fish first as an endearing character learning what a sentence is in Michael Clay Thompson’s Writing Curriculum book, Sentence Island. In Rescue at Fragment Crag, the first novel in the Mud trilogy this novel (117 pages of pure delight in words, their sounds and meanings) we meet Mud again, with Fidget the cricket, his subject-verb friend, Oopsy and Daisy the pelicans who taught him the parts of the sentence, Click the sandpiper, Clack the lobster, Herman the kingfisher, and Merv the mouse. They are joined by Turner the turtle, Baldwin the bellicose and eccentric big-horn beetle, and Marjorie Harbinger, the vivacious wave who brings news of a problem on Fragment Crag where little Click is injured and has become marooned.
The animals and birds have to work together to rescue Click. Things don’t turn out as planned. It is a fearsome, isolated crag where all thought fragments, and the evil rat nearly succeeds in eating Click for dinner. After the rescue there is a falling-out amongst the animals who only know part of what happened. And they forget that rats can swim. There is another attack and another rescue. Then they have time to reflect about being part of a group and working together and supporting one another.