Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: Mason the Mutt by Russ Hughes and KayeC Jones

by M. J. Joachim



As the owner of a rescue dog myself, the story of Mason the Mutt hit home. My little guy wandered the streets for over a year, according to the workers at the pound who found him. He’s a scrounge named Shadow, and many of you have met him here on this blog before. I’ve always wondered what might have happened to him, and how his personality might have changed because of it. Mason the Mutt almost makes me not want to know, something I don’t have to worry about, because it’s unlikely I’ll ever find out anyway.

The reality is that kids really do wonder about pets being left abandoned or mistreated by their owners. These topics are addressed on the news, talked about in our communities and clearly defined in pet stores all the times. Kids are already exposed to the harsh realities of cruel people abandoning and mistreating their pets, which is why Mason the Mutt could provide some extremely important information to them.

This is the story about a little dog who gets abandoned, meets new (doggie) friends in his quest to stay warm, fed and safe, and pretty much feels lonely and unloved and unlovable, because he has no clue why his owner was so cruel. Unfortunately, neither do the rest of us, other than to say life isn’t always kind.

Mason makes his way until one day he is captured by the dog catcher, taken to the pound and left to fend for himself in a cold, hard cage. Other dogs there try to be friendly with him, but he’s stuck in a rut, sad, lonely and hurt. It’s a perfectly normal response to everything he’s been through. This is an opening for parents and teachers to discuss feelings, not only about abandoned and mistreated animals, but about some very real human problems like bullying too.

When all is said and done, Mason survives and discovers he is worthy of being loved, and there are a lot of good reasons to remain hopeful when so many things seem to be going wrong. There are so many small teaching moments in this little story, that it is definitely worth adding to your child’s library. This isn’t a feel good picture book, but rather a little picture book full of a lot of messages regarding caring for our animal friends, and if one thinks outside the box, using the content of this little story to relate to some important things humans go through too. This is a book that will make children think, and perhaps when it does, they will think about how much better the world would be if everyone were just a little more kind.

I hope you enjoyed this book review of Mason the Mutt today. Please share it and let others discover this intriguing picture book, so they can benefit from it too.

Thank you so much. Until next time, my friends,

M. J.

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