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



Last updated Sunday, February 8, 2015

Author: Janet Stevens
Illustrator: Susan Stevens Crummel
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0152046283
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2015

Synopsis:
Responding to disgruntled dogs nationwide, Mr. Mutt, Canine Counselor, has solutions to the most sticky dilemmas. But Mr. Mutt has his own problem to solve: the cat (aka The Queen), who has her own idea of who’s in charge. Now Mr. Mutt is the one who needs help--quick!

Through letters and newspaper clippings--and with plenty of their trademark humor--Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel give voice to despairing dogs everywhere.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have any pets at home? Tell us about your pet(s)!
•  Do you prefer big dogs or small dogs?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What did the dogs ask Mr. Mutt for help with?
•  Who is The Queen?
•  What advice does Mr. Mutt give some of his doggy friends?
•  What are some things you've tried to stop your pets from doing?

Vocabulary:
•  contraption - a machine or device that appears strange or unnecessarily complicated, and often badly made or unsafe
•  descend - move or fall downward
•  canine - of, relating to, or resembling a dog or dogs
•  famished - extremely hungry
•  cantankerous - bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative
•  preposterous - contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous
•  outrageous - shockingly bad or excessive

Craft ideas:
•  Make a puppy out of a brown paper bag! For instructions, see: http://www.freekidscrafts.com/paper-bag-dog-puppet/.
•  Make a Valentine's Day card for someone special.

Special activities:
•  "Dog, Dog, Cat" (like "Duck, Duck, Goose")

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!