Sunday, June 13, 2010

Help Me, Mr. Mutt! laughs for dog lovers abound (ages 6 - 10)

Does your dog look woefully at you when you fill its bowl with a paltry serving of dry kibble? Or maybe your dog brings its ball or stick to you, asking, "Can we play now? Can we play now?" Help Me, Mr. Mutt! is a hilarious book for all dog lovers - and cat lovers, too. Mr. Mutt, a doggie Dear Abby, answers letters of all sorts of dogs in despair about what to do with their people.

Help Me, Mr. Mutt!
Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems

by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
illustrated by Janet Stevens
NY: Harcourt, 2008
ages 6 - 10
available on Amazon or at your local library
Dogs from all walks of life write Mr. Mutt, Canine Counselor extraordinaire, about their people problems. Overdressed in Oklahoma despairs about the ridiculous costumes his people dress him in for the holidays. Sleepless in South Dakota complains that he's a biiiiiig dog who needs a biiiiiig bed, but his people keep relegating him to a little doggie bed. Don't they understand that he needs a large, comfy bed like they have?

Mr. Mutt's replies are witty and laugh-inducing as well. His advice is solidly from the dog's perspective. He advises dogs how to get more food, more respect, more treats. To Famished in Florida a rotund dachshund whose people have put him on a diet, Mr. Mutt advises looking for food in all sorts of places, like countertops, the trash, or under the high chair, and finishing off with a cool drink of water (from the toilet, of course). Every letter ends with a postscript about the cat in Mr. Mutt's house, complaining that "Cats are spoiled rotten. It's never fair." And then the Queen, the cat in Mr. Mutt's house, includes a letter from her perspective - putting the dogs in place: "Watch it, Muttface. Cats are not spoiled rotten. Especially me. I am royalty. I am The Queen. P.S. The Queen would never drink from a toilet."

This hilarious picture book will have you giggling and laughing aloud (adults and kids, dog lovers and cat lovers). It's great for noticing perspective, or talking about what the dog's point of view is versus the cat's. Follow it up by reading Bad Kitty Takes a Bath, another book sure to bring laughs.

For a great look at Help Me, Mr. Mutt! take a look at it on Google Books:

The review book came from our public library. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this page, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.


  1. I adore the Stevens sisters. Their books are an automatic purchase by me and many may be read aloud for fun all the way up to grade 8 or used to highlight figurative language or social studies concepts. I suggested Help Me, Mr. Mutt to the seventh grade language arts teacher for her newspaper unit. The Great Fuzz Frenzy is a great economics lesson - illustrating the law of supply and demand.

    Thanks for posting.


  2. This book is a laugh a minute, not to use a cliche. Maybe I need Mr. Mutt's advice on how to avoid them. Be sure to read the end papers of Help Me, Mr. Mutt for an extension of the story. I met the Stevens sisters while doing my picture book semester at Vermont College. They are as hilarious as they are serious.