Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015. 978-1449470777
Synopsis: Grab your sweaters, hats, and gloves and join Mooch, Earl, and their friends as they discover and explore the excitement of the winter season.
Why I picked it up: I’m an animal lover with a mutt of my own.
Why I finished it: This is a cute collection of previously published comics specially chosen for kids that will have the reader longing for your own snow day (well, for those of us that enjoy snow, anyway). It’s the season to try new things – hibernation – and continue with old traditions – evening walks in the snow with a new sweater. Mooch and Earl are two best friends that will go anywhere and do almost anything for each other, and the love between these two friends and between the pets and their owners really comes out in these comics. They are very real animals as well: Mooch preferring to curl up in a warm lap or on the armchair instead of being out in the cold winter winds; Earl’s facial expressions when he thinks it’s too cold to go outside for a walk is reminiscent of the look my own dog gives me. I loved the additional “More to Explore” portion at the end of the book that tells about what different animals do in the winter time. McDonnell’s art is just as fun and playful as his characters, avoiding angles to create rounded edges that make the comic more accessible to readers of all ages. Animal lovers and comic fans alike will re-live some of their favorite Mutts moments that can be shared generation after generation.
Other related materials: The Mutts Diaries by Patrick McDonnell; Beginning Pearls: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan T. Pastis; The Croc Ate My Homework: A Pearls Before Swine Collection by Stephan T. Pastis; Charlie Brown and Friends: A Peanuts Collection by Charles M. Schulz; Woodstock: Master of Disguise: A Peanuts Collection by Charles M. Schulz; Big Nate books by Lincoln Peirce; Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson; Unicorn on a Roll: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson; Unicorn vs. Goblins: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson; Bird & Squirrel books by James Burks; Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue by Paige Braddock; Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon; Hamster Princess series by Ursula Vernon; Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm