Mutts Go Green: Earth-Friendly Tips and Comic Strips – Patrick McDonnell. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2021. 9781524866945
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? In this anthology, previously-published comics from the popular newspaper strip Mutts are organized into four thematic chapters: “Keep it KIND,” “Keep it CLEAN,” “Keep it WILD,” and “Keep it GREEN.” Each chapter begins with an explanation of its theme, and helpful advice and hints for readers to practice environmental consciousness at home. Earl, Mooch, Shtinky and the other Mutts lecture their neighbors on littering and recycling, travel abroad to save endangered species, and hug trees.
The comics – most in black and white, but many larger full-color Sunday strips are included – are gentle in tone and style, and generally remind us to appreciate and enjoy nature and be kind to each other and our planet. Some of the messages conveyed can be rather pointed, but that may go over young readers’ heads. The intervening chapter introductions contain a lot of great information for young environmentalists and McDonnell pays homage with quotes to many great writers and scientists such as Wendell Berry and Jane Goodall.
Anything you did not like about the book? The format is cute, but it is a little annoying to have to turn the book sideways to read the full-color Sunday funnies and some of the other strips.
To whom would you recommend this book? Kids who enjoy the Mutts comic strip will love this compilation, and it is definitely a good fit for fans of Calvin & Hobbes or Peanuts as well. The humor and the message are a bit sophisticated and thus will appeal more to older elementary school readers, but the characters are so cute that younger readers may pick it up.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? 741.5
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? no
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.
Date of review: 5/11/2021