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Wag! (Mutts)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  425 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
It seems that everything gets Earl's tail wagging--a bowl of food, a field of flowers, long walks, and belly rubs. But Mooch, Earl's best friend, knows what all of these things have in common: love is what makes Earl's tail wag. Patrick McDonnell, creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip, Mutts, pays an incredibly sweet tribute to his dog in a tale of wiggling and ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 11th 2009)
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Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsThe Help by Kathryn StockettCity of Glass by Cassandra ClareAn Echo in the Bone by Diana GabaldonBlood Promise by Richelle Mead
Best Books of 2009
440th out of 1,511 books — 6,808 voters
Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. EastmanDoc Tails by Othen Donald Dale CummingsThe Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring LowreyHarry the Dirty Dog by Gene ZionClifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
Picture Books About Dogs
49th out of 238 books — 112 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 591)
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Nov 19, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, pets, 2012
This is a sweet tale that shows the love between a dog and his owner. The illustrations feature the classic characters from the Mutts cartoon by Patrick McDonnell.

The story is short and filled with dialogue and onomatopoeia. I loved listening to our girls enthusiastically read the book aloud with me - we each had a part. Overall, the message is simple, but nice. We enjoyed reading this book together.
Feb 09, 2010 Cassie rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, love, comics
As a long time fan of MUTTS, I was so pleased when Patrick McDonnell started publishing picture book versions of Earl's and Mooch's adventures. The books introduce the younger set to these charming characters and their very Zen view of life. The latest, Wag!, is no exception. A very simple question is pondered: What makes Earl's tail wag? The journey to the answer tells the answer itself.
Nov 07, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
McDonnell's books, while fabulous, don't always translate to storytime. Wag! is an exception. I think kids will enjoy helping make the "FWIP" sound throughout the book. It would be fun to ask a storytime group what they think makes a dog's tail wag before reading it aloud.
Katie Winfree
Oct 07, 2015 Katie Winfree rated it really liked it
"Wag!" is a fun story about a dog who's tail is constantly wagging, with the author repeatedly asking "Why does earl's tail wag?" The book uses the animations from MUTTS to create a sweet story about the love our animals possess. This is a fun story for young children that involves a dialogue between the narrator and Mooch, which allows for fun voices while reading, about just why Earl's tail wags. As stated, the books central theme is love and how all the things in Earl's life revolve around lo ...more
Apr 13, 2014 A rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
While if it were up to me I would probably rate this one a little less, it's one of my daughter's favorite 5 stars. I also have to have an appreciation for it, because at two years old it's the first book she had started to memorize, saying "I know! I know! I know!" in her cute little voice. Yes, we read it almost every night for weeks on end, but I still found it impressive. So, if you're looking for a short easy read, that's age appropriate, and pretty cute; this is a pretty worth w ...more
Deanna Vaughn
Feb 26, 2014 Deanna Vaughn rated it liked it
This is a cute book and fairly easy read. It is a story about a dog and why his tail is constantly wagging. When a cat is asked why his tail always wags he has to stop and think about why it does. The pictures are very simple but cute. The story is the same, simple and cute. This story would be good for younger students to read. They may also be able to relate to a dog they know or their own dog that is constantly wagging his tail.
Eva Kelly
Dec 10, 2014 Eva Kelly rated it really liked it
OK, in some of this guy's other books that aren't about "Mutts" Earl and Mooch aren't in them, and I thought those two might NEVER be in one together, but here they are!! This one is about Earl and why his tail wags. And Mooch's tail too, but that's not till the end. And I don't want to give away the end but there's a really good reason his tail wags. But it's at the end and I don't want to spoil it.
Jul 22, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
My five-year-old son wanted to check out yellow books from the library today; this one isn't yellow -- I added to our book bag.

This book is SO adorable --MUTTS in picture book form. And I know why Earl's tail wags. But I won't tell -- it's a secret.
I really liked this one, mostly because I have a dog and I'm all too familiar with the wagging tail. Mooch was absolutely correct!
Dec 05, 2014 Karol rated it liked it
I love Earl and Mooch. This is a delightful story questioning "What makes Earl's tail wag?" Nice little read for beginning readers.
Rene Aube
Nov 30, 2015 Rene Aube rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pb-fiction
Just too cute as Mooch tries to explain what makes Earl wag his tail. Simple and sweet. Another one on my wish list!
Stories & Sweeties {Becky}
Jun 05, 2015 Stories & Sweeties {Becky} rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adorable. And oh so true. :)
Jul 03, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2014 N rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
So cute :)
Apr 09, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it
For cute!
Feb 10, 2014 Maxwell rated it really liked it
Max read this book to me. Very cute.
Apr 18, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing
This is an adorable book that is about a little dog Earl. The author sets up the question of what makes Earl's tail wag. The use of onomatopoeia is clear throughout the book, such as Fwip, fwip, fwip as the wagging of Earl's tail. The use of speaking bubbles makes it seem as though the characters are actually talking, versus simply reading the words on the page in a sentence.

I truly enjoyed the illustrations and the ending. The reason Earl's tail wags is because of love.
Jessica Crockett
Feb 01, 2014 Jessica Crockett rated it it was amazing
This is a cute book! The illustrations are simple and wonderful. The storyline is just as good.
Kristi Bernard
Sep 05, 2010 Kristi Bernard rated it it was amazing
WAG is a quick fun read about Earl the dog. Earl's tail wags all of the time. It wags when he eats, sleep and even when he sits in a field of flowers. But what cuases his tail to wag all of the time? You will have to read about Earl in WAG to find out.

The illustrations show Earl's tail wagging all of the time. It is really fun! If you would like to learn more about Patrick McDonnell please visit his website at
Mar 01, 2011 Darrielle rated it liked it
Shelves: dogs
What makes Earl's tail wag? What I noticed about this book is a character who raises his hand to answer a question, before he is ready to provide an answer. Most students will be able to identify with this and you ccan use the character as a reminder to kids to only raise thier hands when they are ready. Literary activities may involve having students develop rhyming words that describe what makes Earl wag his tail happily.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Jackie says:

This book is on my Top Ten list for 2009--it's so sweet you can't help but feel good after reading it. I actually got to to hear the author read the story, which was an amazing treat. I seriously can't keep enough copies of this book on my recommends shelf! It's supposed to be a kids book, but it's really fantastic for anyone you love.
Oct 05, 2009 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
Recommended to Jackie by: Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association
I had the pleasure of hearing Patrick McDonnell read this book to a rapt audience while showing the illustrations on PowerPoint. The gentle beauty and fantastic message of this book cannot be stated too strongly. Munchkins on my holiday list this year are getting this book--and I might just have to keep a copy for myself!
Jul 02, 2010 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Dog lovers of all ages will enjoy this funny and energetic exploration of what makes a dog's tail wag. My 4-year-old daughter immediately caught on to the humor and has asked to read this over and over again - which I do cheerfully because I love this book too.
Shala Howell
Sep 01, 2011 Shala Howell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
My four year old's favorite book right now. She hunts down the cats, plops down next to them and reads the book to them at least twice a week.

***Update: Reviewed in more detail on my blog here:****
Mar 18, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing
This will be used during my next valentine's day storytime. Earl is constantly wagging his tail and the question is "why does he do that?" His friend Mooch thinks he has the answer - but it takes the whole book to get there.
Dec 03, 2009 Kyla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-fun
Too cute. I got this for my friend who was down, and she loved it too. I need to get my own copy! I definitely recommend this book for grownups who love children's books. If you want to smile, look here!
Nov 14, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it
Earls' tail is wagging almost all of the time, but why? Mooch thinks he knows, but he's not sure. Earls' tail wags for treats and snowflakes and bellyrubs. Why? Mooch knows! Mooch knows! Or does he?
Feb 09, 2010 Tracee rated it it was amazing
These books are amazing. I love them so much, because the message is always a good one, and they're just so happy! How can you NOT love a cute little dog, and a cat with a speech impediment?
Pat Downs
Dec 11, 2009 Pat Downs rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
My second favorite picture book of the year. Similar to the Mo Willem Pigeon books, in that it's playful, but its much sweeter. The fact that it features dogs doesn't hurt.
May 19, 2011 Kelly added it
Shelves: animals
The dog is really cute on the cover and in the book. I like how Mooch plays a part in telling about Earl's tail wagging. The page with the answer has a good design.
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In 1994 McDonnell created the comic strip MUTTS which now appears in over 700 newspapers and 20 countries.

In 2005, McDonnell embarked on a children's book career. His first children’s book, which featured the MUTTS characters, The Gift of Nothing, quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Art (2006), his second release, told the story of a boy named Art who makes art. His next release, Just Like
More about Patrick McDonnell...

Other Books in the Series

Mutts (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Cats and Dogs: Mutts II
  • More Shtuff - Mutts III (Mutts)
  • Yesh! - Mutts IV
  • Our Mutts: Five (Mutts, #5)
  • A Little Look-See:  Mutts 6 (Mutts, #6)
  • What Now: MUTTS VII
  • I Want to Be the Kitty: MUTTS 8
  • Dog-Eared: MUTTS 9
  • Who Let the Cat Out?: Mutts X

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