“Can we really lose something that’s already lost?” Inside Patrick McDonnell’s A Shtinky Little Christmas
, Earl the dog and Mooch the cat celebrate the season by taking in a wayside waif, who they promptly name Shtinky Puddin’. Shtinky is a tiger-striped trash-can forager, frequent purrer, and lover of shpagetti, potpie, and shpagetti.
As Christmas approaches, Shtinky Puddin’ grows ever more homesick and decides to depart the comfort and safety of Earl and Mooch’s protection in hopes of finding home. With uncommunicative snowmen and zero luck, Shtinky Puddin’ gets lost in a blizzard, only to be found by Earl and Mooch, who then get lost themselves. Just in the Nick of time, a jolly rotund, red suit–wearing, white-bearded human approaches and delivers the traveling trio straight to their peoples’ doorstep—only to learn that Shtinky Puddin’s peoples have come to claim their lost tiger-striped kitty named Jules.
With caviar rewards, Christmas naps, and New Year’s resolutions to “do less,” this emotive Mutts gift book reminds us that there is indeed a reason for the season with themes of friendship, thankfulness, family, home, and hearth.