Mooch the cat and Earl the dog are back in a new collection of eco-friendly stories. Multiple Harvey Award winning and four time National Cartoonists Society Award winning author and illustrator Patrick McDonnell shares this nicely packaged short and sweet (and often chuckle inducing) comic. 

McDonnell has created this Earth-centered collection of comics and organized it into four major themes, “How to Keep it Kind”, “Clean”, “Wild”, and “Green”. He begins each section with a bullet point list of ideas for simple things that you can do in your everyday life to help make the world a better place for everyone. Then he dives right into every aspect of environmentally friendly practices you can think of—from highlighting how much trash there is in the oceans with a very real image to mentioning a popular Earth advocate, Greta. He ends things with a cute but serious “The Mutts Manifesto” and a thank you note for caring about our extraordinary, wonderful planet. McDonnell is heavily involved in pet rescue initiatives, and has been called a champion for environmental causes. You can tell that the writing in this piece is near and dear to the author’s heart, as he makes the case directly to young reader’s hearts to also share in the responsibility of taking care of our only home, Earth. 

McDonnell has a very classic style when creating comics. It feels like you’re reading the funnies that you would find in printed paper newspapers. These are short and sweet comics, and often only use a few panels long to get the message across. They feature the same well-known characters, Earl and Mooch, in a variety of black and white to full color quick comics.. 

McDonnell breaks down serious environmental issues into easy to understand visuals. You don’t have to understand what fertilizer is or where plastics come from, instead McDonnell mixes in simple text with images of these pollutants. Along with, of course, with a sprinkling of humor. The bullet point lists at the beginning of each section could be useful to educators, and this light approach to very real topics would be a great way to start off a unit related to biological or environmental course content. Overall, this comic would be a fun and useful addition to any library collection. 

Mutts Go Green: Earth-Friendly Tips and Comic Strips
By Patrick McDonnell
Andrews McNeel Publishing, 2021
ISBN: 9781524866945

Publisher Age Rating:  7-14
Series ISBNS and Order

NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11), Teen (13-16), Tween (10-13)

  • Kendra

    | She/Her


    Kendra Perkins has worked at libraries in Canada, the U.A.E., China and South Korea where she has been everything from Founding Head Librarian to volunteer. She was Ambassador of China for the International Librarians Network, and she was elected to be Coordinator for the Shanghai Librarians Network (SLN), which is a community of almost 100 library professionals from more than 20 schools. She has completed her ALA accredited Masters in Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta. She has traveled to over 90 countries, learned to speak basic Mandarin Chinese along the way and kept up with too many graphic novel series to keep count. She has led workshops, created webinars and done library consultations in fun places like Italy and Hong Kong. She has been a guest blogger for multiple technology and education related websites and is a published book reviewer for Urban Family magazine. Find out more at her website, which she should update more frequently:

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