Book Review: The Mutts Winter Diaries


The struggle is real.

Fall’s brief appearance was a tease and now wintery type weather is upon making evening perfect times to snuggle up with a good book. The MUTTS Winter Diaries is the purrfect solution! Patrick McDonnell’s newest compilation of cartoons, featuring Earl the pooch and Mooch the cat, is a delight! It’s a fun read with lots of moments to make you appreciate the cold days that are coming (here!).

The book is a quick read but you’ll want to savor over the pages and share all of the moments of Mooch and Earl’s wintery struggles. As a pet owner (or a person owned by pets?), I loved the struggle of cat versus dog owner with my thoughts about my cat encroaching my personal space being played out on the page. I also loved the frenetic energy of a cat who may or may not be insane (spoiler alert…cats are crazy!).

Included in the book is a section called “More to Explore” which is a way to ensure that your outdoor critters can stay warm and safe through the winter months.  There are some animal facts as well. The activities are those which are possible and doable and good for the environment.

A little history about MUTTS : In 1994 Patrick McDonnell created the comic strip MUTTS, which now appears in over 700 newspapers in 20 countries. MUTTS has been described by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz as “One of the best comic strips of all time.” McDonnell has received numerous awards for this strip, including the National Cartoonists Society’s highest honor, The Reuben, for Cartoonist of the Year.

MUTTS also won awards for its environmental and animal advocacy: two Genesis Awards from The Ark Trust, The HSUS Hollywood Genesis Award for Ongoing Commitment, the PETA Humanitarian Award, and a Sierra Club award.

McDonnell is involved with many animal and environmental charities, and is a member of the board of directors for both the HSUS and the Fund for Animals. His characters have been enlisted by the U.S. Marines for their 2006 Toys for Tots holiday poster, the American Library Association’s 2007 “Read!” poster, and by the HSUS for their humane postage stamps. The MUTTS characters appear on the New Jersey Animal Friendly license plates that fund state pet population programs.

McDonnell’s website,, promotes his animal- and earth-friendly philosophy. Consistent with McDonnell’s concern for the environment, all of the MUTTS books are printed on recycled paper. He and his wife Karen happily reside with Amelie, their rescue Jack Russell terrier, and Not Ootie, their formerly feral cat.

Rachée Fagg is a Delaware County, PA mom. This post was adapted from her blog, Say It Rah-shay.


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