Saturday, July 3, 2010

It’s a “Dog-Eat-Treat World” Out There!

Recommended for grades K-2

I love dogs! I love humorous picture books featuring dogs. So, it is only natural that I would want to read Help Me, Mr. Mutt! by sisters Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. As you open up the book, the inside front cover reveals a newspaper ad for Mr. Mutt, canine counselor, who helps dogs deal with their people (and cat) issues. The picture book is a series of correspondences through letters between the troubled dog and Mr. Mutt. Troubles range from a dog whose been put on a “starvation” diet (that would be what my dog, Coco, would write in about) to a dog whose dignity has been lost by being dressed up.

There are also letters written from “The Queen,” the resident tiara-wearin’ cat in Mr. Mutt’s house telling him to lay off the negative cat talk. As you can see from the cover of the book, the humor not only comes from the writing, but from the illustrations too. The sisters even used their dogs as some of the models in the book. This book would be great not only for an example of letter writing, but also math graphic organizers. Mr. Mutt draws pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs to illustrate “factual” points.

Dog owners beware--Mr. Mutt may be teaching your ol’ dog some new tricks!

Stevens, J., & Crummel, S. (2008). Help me, mr. mutt! San Diego, CA: Harcourt Children.

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