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

Janet Stevens, Author, Susan Stevens Crummel, Author, Janet Stevens, Illustrator . l, illus. by Janet Stevens Harcourt $17 (56p) ISBN 978-0-15-204628-6

Every dog has its rough day now and then, which in this high-energy picture book calls for a letter to Mr. Mutt, Canine Counselor. Whether addressing a dog put on a diet by his people, or a pooch who's scolded for barking too much, Mr. Mutt offers a written note of nuts-and-bolts advice (to the hungry dog, he recommends searching the trash, etc.) and anti-cat commentary. His snooty, tiara-wearing cat companion, The Queen, takes issue with his “catty remarks,” writing rebuttals on pink stationery. Similar to Mark Teague's Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School in both theme and epistolary format, this sister act's (The Great Fuzz Frenzy ) effort lacks LaRue 's narrative flow and clever situational humor. Stevens's mixed-media scenes of the pets' ultimate altercation contain the most fun: The Queen demonstrates her prowess with a digitally manipulated ball of yarn as she, taking umbrage at a feline insult, keeps her canine cohort too “tied up” to help his correspondents out of the doghouse. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
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