The 4th Reading Series

Mr. Mugs – Rockets Away!

The fourth monthly reading series is Mr. Mugs – Rockets Away! by Martha Kambeitz and Denise Burns, with the assistance of Dorothy H. M. Dunn, Jessie W Shular, Dorothy Simpson and Inez Sunderland.

Louis credits the Mr. Mugs books series with helping him to learn English at a very young age. The Mr. Mugs books have been out of print for many years but occasionally you can find them on eBay, Amazon Marketplace or various other antique book dealers.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Mr. Mugs
is the title character in a series of children’s books written by Martha Kambeitz and Carol Roth and published by Ginn and Company (now part of Prentice Hall). Mr. Mugs was an Old English Sheepdog who lived with two children, Pat and Cathy. These readers were used in Canadian elementary schools in the 1970s and early 1980s to teach reading. There were 3 different series (with seven levels within each series) of “Mr. Mugs” books: “Ginn Integrated Language Program”; “Light and Life Reading Series”; and “Sharing Points in Language Arts”. While two titles were published in hardcover (Rockets Away! is in hardcover), the rest of the “Mr. Mugs” titles were published in softcover.

To learn more about the Mr. Mugs books please visit the Reading Series Page. You can also watch dramatic readings of two additional Mr. Mugs books there. 

You can listen to and read all the previous book readings on the Reading Series Page.

Chapter 1 / Page 6 (August 2020)


When it’s storming here on Earth
Is it lightning up on Mars?
Does it thunder on the Moon?
Does it rain upon the Stars?

I ask myself these questions.
These are things I’d like to know.
And some day in my own space ship
I’ll learn whether they are so.

Emily M. Hilsabeck

Chapter 2/ Pages 7-9 (September 2020)


“What’ll we play today?”
asked Tom.
“Play rockets with Cathy and me,”
said Pat.
“Let’s make a rocket – a big rocket!”
said Tom.
“Make a rocket!” said Pat. “How?”
“I saw one my friends made,”
said Tom. “Come on, help me.
We can do it. Let’s try.
When we have it ready,
we can put Mr. Mugs into it.”
The boys worked and worked.

Mother saw the rocket.
She said, “That looks like a rocket to me,
but will it go up?
How will you make it work?”
“Oh, we’re going to surprise you,”
said the boys. “We’ll try the rocket now.
Go and get Mr. Mugs, Pat.
We want him now.”
“No, no, NO!” said Pat. “Not my dog!
Mark, you go into it.”

Chapter 3/ Pages 10-12 (October 2020)

“Come on, Pat. Get Mr. Mugs.
He likes fast rides,” said Tom.
“He’ll like going up in the rocket.”
Pat didn’t want Mr. Mugs to go up
in the rocket, but he got him.
The boys put the dog into the rocket.
Mother looked surprised
when she saw Mr. Mugs in it.
“How will you do it? Will he go up
and come back?” she asked.
“Look at him,” said Pat.
“He’s afraid to go up!”
“Oh Pat!” laughed the boys.
“He’ll be back in no time.
Get ready. It’s time to go up!”

“Are you ready?
Here we go!
Three… two… one…

What a rocket!
What a ride!
What a dog!

Chapter 4/ Pages 13-15 (November 2020)

The next day…

Mugs 1
Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Day looked out
to see the rocket coming.
It was a big one,
bit they got it in.
“Who made it?”
asked the girls and boys.
“Tom, Mark, and I made it.
Mr. Mugs went up in it first.
At first he was afraid,
but now I think he likes it,”
said Pat.

“What did you call it?” asked Bill.
“Did you name it?”
“No,” said Pat.
“I think it should have a name,”
said Mary. “Let’s call it something.
Mrs. Cook, may we name it?”
“Yes, let’s think,” said Mrs. Cook.
“Let’s call it Mr. Mugs’ Rocket.
He was the first one to go up in it.
I think it should have his name,” said Mary.
“What do you think, Bill?”
Bill said, “I think we should call it
Mugs 1. I like that.”
“Yes! Yes!” said the girls and boys.
“That’s a good name.
Let’s call it Mugs 1.”

Chapter 5/ Pages 16-17 (December 2020)

    “Who wants to go up in Mugs 1?” asked Mrs. Cook.
    “I do! I do! I do!”
    Mrs. Cook said, “Look, boys and girls.
One at a time – one may go up in it.
Now think. Who should it be?”
    “I think it should be a boy,”
said Cathy. “I saw big boys go up
in rockets on TV.
Maybe Pat should go up in it.¨C11C It’s his rocket.”¨C12C ¨C13C     “Do you want to go up in it, Pat?” asked Mrs. Cook.

   Pat said, “I think Bill should go up.
It’s his birthday.”
“Good!” said Mrs. Cook, and Bill got in.
He called out, “Blast off for Mars!”
The boys and girls called out,
          BLAST OFF!!!!!”

Chapter 6/ Pages 18-19 (January 2021)

Out Into Space

“Pat! Pat!” called Mr. Mugs.
Come here.
How does it look?
Here’s Mugs 1.
I made it.
It’s my rocket.”

Pat laughed.
“It’s pink! It’s pink!
A pink rocket!” “Yes!” said Mr. Mugs.
“I love pink and
I love rockets.
Come on, Pat.
Let’s go.
Let’s go out
into space!”

Pat asked, “Where?
Where are you going?”

“Where do you want to go?”
asked Mr. Mugs.
Do you want to go to Mars?
Do you want to go to the moon?
Where, Pat? Where should we go?”

Pat said, I want to go away out
into space – awa-a-ay out.” “Good!” shouted Mr. Mugs.
“Here we go! BLAST OFF!”

Chapter 7/ Pages 20-21 (February 2021)

Mr. Mugs wanted Pat to have
a good look at his rocket.
“Look,” he said. “My rocket’s
like a home. Here’s a bed for you.
And you’ll like this –
peanut butter sandwiches for you
and milk for me.”

“Where’s the pink rocket going?”
Pat asked. “Are we going to the moon?
Are we going to Mars?”

“No, Pat,” said Mr. Mugs.
“I have a surprise for you.”

“We’re going to see something new
on our way into space!”

Suddenly Pat saw something!
“LOOK!” he shouted.
“Do you see something?
What is it?
What’s that round thing
away up in space?”

“That’s it! That’s IT!”
shouted Mr. Mugs.
“That’s where we’re going.
It’s a space station!
It’s like a station at home,
but it’s away out in space!”

Chapter 8/ Pages 22 – 24 (March 2021)

The Space Station

The space station looked
like the station at home.

But it was away up
in space.

Pat and Mr. Mugs looked at
the space station TV.
They wanted to see what it was like
on Mars.

“Should we go to Mars?”
asked Mr. Mugs.

“No,” said Pat, “I don’t think
I want to go to Mars.”

Chapter 9/ Pages 25 – 26 (April 2021)

They saw what the moon looked like.
It was big and nothing was on it –
no houses or flowers –
no boys or girls.
A man in a funny-looking moon suit was looking around.

“I don’t think I want to go
to the moon,” said Pat.

When Pat saw Earth,
he wanted to go home.
He didn’t want to go to Mars
or to the moon.<

“Good,” sad Mr. Mugs, “I think
we should go back to Earth.”

They said good-bye to the space station.
In no time the pink rocket
was blasting off for Earth.

Chapter 10/ Pages 27 – 28 (May 2021)

“We’ll be home in good time,” said Mr. Mugs.
“How I love my pink rocket!”

Then Mr. Mugs shouted something.
“Pat! Pat! Something’s wrong! Something’s wrong with my rocket!
It’s going down! I can’t make it go up! Help me!”

Pat got frightened. “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” he shouted.

Mr. Mugs looked out. “Look, Pat! It’s pink! We’re down on something pink!
Where are we and what is this?”

Out jumped Pat and Mr. Mugs.
They looked around. What a surprise they got!
They saw nothing –
no houses,
no pets or flowers,
no boys or girls,
nothing, nothing, nothing –
nothing but pink!
Pat looked frightened.
But Mr. Mugs said, “I love pink!
It’s pretty here! It’s like pink popcorn!”

Chapter 11/ Pages 29 – 30 (June 2021)

But Pat said, “Something is wrong!
Why did your rocket come down?
Why is nothing here?
Why? Why? Why?
Why is it pink?
Something made the rocket come down>
What was it? I don’t like it here!”

Then Mr. Mugs shouted.
He jumped up and down.
“Pat! Pat! I have it!
I have it!
I think we are the first ones
to come here!
I think we’re on a pink planet!
Think, Pat!
This is our PINK PLANET!”

“Our planet? Our planet?” asked Pat.
“A planet like Earth or Mars?”
Is this pink thing a planet?
Is it ours?”

“Yes! Yes!” laughed Mr. Mugs.
“This is our Pink Popcorn Planet!”
Now you can see why our pink rocket
wanted to come here!
A pink rocket and a pink planet!
It’s ours! It’s ours!

Chapter 12/ Pages 31 – 32 (July 2021)

A Pink Popcorn Party

Pat and Mr. Mugs looked at the planet.
The pink popcorn looked pretty.
“look how soft it is,” said Pat.
“It’s like a soft bed.”

Mr. Mugs said, “I like something soft.
I want to sleep on something soft.
Will you sleep her with me, Pat?
We can go back to Earth when we get up.”

“no,” said Pat. “The bed in the rocket
is soft. I’ll sleep on it. Have a good sleep.”
* * *
When Pat got up he looked out.
What he saw frightened him.

Something was wrong on the pink planet.
Someone was on it!
What looked like pink popcorn
was something else.

“Who are they?” Pat asked in surprise.
“Why are they fighting?
What are they doing to Mr. Mugs?
How can I help him?”

Pat was frightened, but he wanted
to help Mr. Mugs.

Chapter 13/ Pages 33 – 34 (August 2021)

Pat looked around in the rocket.
He saw something.

“I have it!” he said. This will work!
This space gun will blast the pink things
off the planet!
Here we go! BLAST OFF!”


It blasted the pink things away out
into space.
Pat laughed and laughed.
It looked like someone was popping corn
on the pink planet!
It looked like a pink popcorn party!

Pat and Mr. Mugs got into
the pink rocket.
It blasted off to Earth.


“Pat! Pat!” called Mrs. Cook.
“Will you come down to Earth?”

Chapter 14/ Page 35 (September 2021)

Chapter 14: Such Lovely Things to Hear and See

Such lovely things
to hear and see
Belong to you,
belong to me!
The sun. the trees,
the grass, the sky,
the silver moon
that’s sailing by.

Soft whispering winds,
the birds that sing,
Bright autumn leaves
gay flowers of spring,
The rain and dew
and snowflakes white,
The sparkling waves,
the stars of night.

Frances G. Disser

Chapter 15/ Pages 36-37 (October 2021)

Chapter 15: Let’s Make Sure

Let’s Make Sure

Can You Make

  1. A Rocket blasting off
    out into space?
  2. The Pink Popcorn Planet or
    a space station?
  3. What you think it’s like
    on the moon or on Mars?
  4. Something you like that
    is on Earth?
  5. You in a space suit?


  1. Where did Mr. Mugs and Pat go first?
  2. Why did the pink things fight Mr. Mugs?
  3. Where did the pink rocket come down?
  4. Why was Pat frightened
    on the Pink Popcorn Planet?
  5. What was the soft, pink popcorn?
  6. Did they go to Mars or to the moon?
  7. Why did Mr. Mugs make his rocket pink?
  8. Why did Mr. Mugs think it was
    a pink planet?
  9. Why did they call it the Pink Popcorn Planet?
  10. What is a space station?

Chapter 16/ Pages 38-39 (November 2021)

Chapter 16: Around Our House

The Secret Place

Halfway up a certain tree
There’s a place belongs to me.
Two branches make a little chair
And I like it sitting there.

I like it.
And it’s secret, too.
No grown-up guesses where I go
And if he should, and climbed to it –
He would not fit, he would not fit!

Dorothy Aldis

Mark and Tom have an idea!

Chapter 17/ Pages 40-41 (December 2021)


“Hi!” called the boys.
“What are you doing?”

Tom shouted back, “Come and see.
It’s a surprise!”

“What is it?” asked Bill.

“A clubhouse,” said Tom.

“A clubhouse? What’s it for?” Bill asked.

“It’s for our club – a boy’s club. You can be in our club. Come on! You two can help. A clubhouse is fun!”

Some girls saw the clubhouse.
“What’s that?” they asked.

Tom answered, “It’s a clubhouse – for boys.”

“May we look in?” asked the girls.

“No!” answered Mark. “It’s not for girls.”

“Not for girls! Not for girls? Why not? What’s wrong with girls? Why can’t we play in your clubhouse?”

“Girls don’t play in clubhouses,” answered Tom. “That’s why. You can play in the house or you can look at TV.”

The girls didn’t like it.

Chapter 18/ Pages 42-43 (January 2022)

“I have an idea,” said Tom
“Let’s put up a sign.
I think the girls will come back.
We don’t want girls around here.
This is our clubhouse.
Let’s put up a sign – NOT FOR GIRLS – or something like that.”

“I have a good idea,” said Bill.
“I can make a trap with cans.”

Tom laughed. “A trap? A trap!
When the cans come down,
they’ll think it’s a rocket
blasting off!”

“We should call it something,”
said Bill.

“Let me see… it’s a clubhouse…
Let’s call it BOYS’ CLUB HOUSE,”
said Tom.

“I know! I know what to call it,”
shouted Bill. “Let’s call it the B.C.H.
Then the girls won’t know what it is!”

“Boy! Will they get a surprise!” said Tom.
“They won’t like the signs and
they won’t know what this one is.”

“Don’t forget the trap!” laughed Bill.

Can you act out this story?

Chapter 19/ Pages 44-45 (February 2022)

A Sad Story

One morning Pat and his friends
played in the clubhouse tree.
Pat liked this tree. It was big and green.

“Look at me!” he shouted
“Can you do this?”

Pat liked to hang upside down.
“I can see the sun,” he laughed.
“Sometimes I can see the moon, too.
Maybe some day I’ll see a space station!”

Pat saw pretty things
up in the clubhouse tree.
He saw a spider’s web.
It looked pretty in the sun.

“Come on!” he shouted
“Look what I can do! Look! No hands!”

Then he saw it.
It was away up in the tree.

He jumped down. “Jim! Bill!”
he shouted. “Do you know what I saw up in that tree?”

Chapter 20/ Pages 46-47 (March 2022)

“What?” they asked

“A nest!” he shouted.
“A nest! I saw a nest up there!”

“Where, Pat? Where is it?” asked Bill.

The boys looked and looked.
“I see where it is,” said Bill.

Jim saw it, too.
There it was – a good little home for baby birds.

“There it is, answered Pat, “up there.”

“Let’s go up and see what’s in it,” said Pat. “I know how to get up there!”

Bill and Jim wanted to see the nest too.
Pat was ready to go up when Mother called,
“Pat! Come here. Come here, boys!
I want to talk to you.”

Pat ran up to Mother and said,
“There’s a nest up there, Mommy!
It’s a pretty little one.
We want to see what’s in it.”

“Don’t go near the nest,” said Mother.
“The birds won’t like it.
Play in the clubhouse, or play ball,
but don’t go near the nest.”

Then Mother went back into the house.

Chapter 21/ Pages 48-49 (April 2022)

The boys didn’t like what Mother said.

“Come on, Pat,” said the boys.
“You can go up.
Your mother won’t see you.”

Pat looked around.
Mother was in the house.

“Yes,” said Pat. “We can go up
and come down fast.
I want to see that nest. Let’s go!”

Up the tree he went.

But Mother did see Pat go up.
She was angry.
She called to Pat.

Pat, do you hear me?”

The boys ran home.

Mother talked to Pat
when he got down.
She made Pat go
to his room.
Pat went into the house.
Mr. Mugs saw him go.
He went into the house, too.

Chapter 22/ Pages 50-51 (May 2022)

Pat Runs Away

Pat was angry. He didn’t want to go to his room. He wanted to see that nest.

Pat thoughts and thought.
Then he got an idea.
“I’ll run away.
I don’t like it here.
You can’t have fun around here.
Let’s go, Mr. Mugs.”

Pat got his things and off they went.

Mother saw Pat go.
She was sad about it.
“He thinks this is a good idea but he’ll be sorry.
I’ll see what he does.”

Pat and Mr. Mugs went away down the street.
“They’ll be sorry tonight when we don’t come home,” thought Pat.

On and on they went.
Pat said nothing.
He thought and thought.

Chapter 23/ Pages 52-53 (June 2022)

He thought of the nest
away up in the tree.
He thought of Mark and Tom
and of the clubhouse.
Then he thought of Mother.

Something inside Pat made him
want to go home.
He was sorry for going near the nest.
He was sorry he ran away.
He looked around.
He didn’t know what street this was.

“Oh, Mr. Mugs, where are we?
I can’t see the house!” Pat said.
“Let’s go back, Mr. Mugs.
I want to see Mommy!”

Back they went – a sad little boy
and a sad dog.
Mother saw the two up the street.

When Pat and Mr. Mugs got
near the House, Mother went out.
Pat ran to Mother. He cried and cried.

“I’m sorry for going away, Mommy.
I’m sorry for going near the nest.”
Pat cried. He loved Mother
and he wanted to be a good boy.

Mother looked at her little boy.
“Don’t cry,” she said.
“Let’s go inside.
I’m sorry you ran away but
I’m happy you’re back.
I won’t have to punish you
this time, Pat.
You did that for me.
Come into the bedroom, Pat.
I have a story for you.”

Chapter 24/ Pages 54-55 (July 2022)

Lyo and Bijou

There was a donkey called Lyo
and a goat called Bijou.
Lyo’s and Bijou’s home was
in a beautiful green valley.
But – they didn’t like it there.
They wanted to have some fun!
“Let’s go away somewhere,”
said Lyo. “Let’s go to the town!”
“That’s a good idea,” said Bijou.
“But how can we get there?”
“when we’re told to do something,
let’s not do it,” said Lyo.
“Then our master will get angry.”

And… the master was angry.
“I’ll get Lyo and Bijou a new master,”
he thought.
So Lyo and Bijou got a new master
and away they went to the town.
“How happy we’ll be,” they thought.
But – the new master made Lyo and
Bijou work and

Oh, how they wished to be back
in the valley.
One night Lyo said,
“Let’s go and see our old master.
Maybe he’ll let us come back.”
So Lyo and Bijou went back
to the valley.

Chapter 25/ Page 56 (August 2022)

“Do you think the old master let
them come back, Pat?” asked Mother.
“Oh, I hope so,” answered Pat.
“He did, Pat, for he was
a good man,” said Mother.
Now Lyo and Bijou are sorry
they wanted to go away.
And when they are told to do
something, they do it.
Pat got ready for bed.
He looked out the window.
There was the clubhouse tree.
Somewhere up there was a pretty nest.
He looked around the room.
He thought of Mother and Daddy
and the boys.
“It’s good to be home,” he thought.
He liked his soft bed.
“I’m going to be a good boy…”
Pat was asleep.

Chapter 26/ Page 57-58 (September 2022)

Chapter 27: Lost! – A Dog! Part 1

HE’S LOST! HE’S LOST!” Pat shouted.

“How do you know he’s lost?” asked Mother.
“Where did you look?”

“I looked around outside and in the rooms!”
Pat answered.
“He’s not here.
I can’t find him!”

“Ask the boys,”
said Mother.
“Maybe they saw him.
Don’t cry, Pat.
Someone will find him.”

Pat told Mark and Tom about Mr. Mugs.
“Don’t cry, Pat,” said Mark.
“He’ll come back.
Let’s go into the clubhouse and think.
I can think inside the clubhouse.”

They thought and thought
about Mr. Mugs. Then Mark said,
“This is what we should do.
Pat, you go and ask Cathy and your friends.
Tom, you go up our street.
That should do it. We’ll find that dog!”

Away they went.

Chapter 27/ Page 59 (October 2022)

Chapter 27: Lost! – A Dog! Part 1 (continued)

Pat cried when he told Cathy
about Mr. Mugs. He told his friends
about his lost dog.
They looked and looked, up the street and down.

“Did you see Mr. Mugs?”
“No, I didn’t.”

“Did you see Pat’s dog?
He’s lost.”
“No – I don’t think so.”

“Did you see a dog
about this big? He’s ours.
We can’t find him.”
“Sorry! No lost dogs
around here.”

They didn’t find him! He was lost!

Chapter 28/ Page 60-61 (November 2022)

Chapter 28: Lost! – A Dog! Part 1 (continued)
That night Pat didn’t want
to go to sleep. He wanted to cry.
He was thinking about Mr. Mugs.

“I have an idea!” said Tom
“Let’s sleep out in the clubhouse tonight.
There’s room for three. It should be fun!”

Pat liked the idea.
“This will be my first time to sleep
in the clubhouse,” he said.
“May we, Mommy?” he asked.

Mother thought this should help
Pat get to sleep. She said yes.
Then the boys got ready.

“This is going to be fun,” Pat thought.
“I’m sorry Mr. Mugs isn’t here.
He loves to have fun.”

It was dark in the clubhouse.
Mark and Tom put Pat on the inside.

Pat liked the clubhouse and
he liked to be out with the boys.
Mark told a funny story
and then Pat went to sleep.

Chapter 29/ Page 62-63 (December 2022)

Part 2

Mark thought he heard something near the clubhouse.
“Did you hear that?” he whispered.

“Yes, I heard it,” Tom whispered back. “It’s near the clubhouse.”

“I’m frightened,” whispered Pat. “Let’s run to the house.”

“Sh-!” whispered Mark. “It’ll hear you. I think it’s coming closer.”

“What do you think it is?” whispered Tom.

“I don’t know,” whispered Mark, “but I don’t like it.”

They heard it come closer and closer. “I’m frightened,” whispered Pat.

“SH-” whispered Mark. “I think it’s going away.”

“Yes,” said Tom. “I can’t hear it. We can go back to sleep now.”

“It’s a good thing I’m on the inside,” laughed Pat. “That was a close call.”

“Oh Pat,” answered Tom. “Nothing can get into the B.C.H. Go back to sleep!”

Pat and Mark went off to sleep, but Tom didn’t. He thought about the thing outside the clubhouse.
What was it?

Chapter 30/ Page 64 (January 2023)

Then he heard something.

“Mark! Mark!” he whispered.
“It’s back! It’s back!
Can you hear it?”

“Yes, I can” whispered Mark.
“What do you think it wants?
What can it be?
What does it sound like to you?”

“It sounds like a big man to me,”
answered Tom.
“SH! The sounds are coming closer!”

“I don’t like this clubhouse,”
Pat whispered. “I don’t like the sounds.”

“SH! SH! Pat!”

It was going around the clubhouse.

Chapter 31/ Page 65 (February 2023)

THE TRAP!” shouted Mark

The cans made a sound like a rocket
blasting off.

Then they heard nothing –
not a sound –

Chapter 32/ Page 66 (March 2023)

Pat heard a bark.

“It’s MR. MUGS! It’s MR. MUGS!”
shouted Pat. “That’s what it is!
Let me out!

There was Mr. Mugs!
He did look surprised!

Chapter 33/ Page 67 (April 2023)

Mother and Daddy heard the cans.

They heard the boys laughing.
“What on earth was that!” shouted Daddy.
“What’s wrong out there?”

“Nothing!” Pat shouted back.
“Mr. Mugs is home! HERE HE IS!”

“Look, boys,” called Mother.
“How about sleeping in the house tonight? I think there’s room for about three boys and one dog!”

“That sounds good to me!” laughed Pat.

Pages with no text (tell your own story!) – Pages 68-69

Chapter 34/ Pages 70-71 (May 2023)

Let’s Make Sure

Let’s Think

  1. What is the opposite of:




  1. Can you make something that is:


Do You Know
1. Why the boys called it the B.C.H.?
2. How Bill made the trap?
3. Why Pat liked the clubhouse tree?
4. Why Mother didn’t punish Pat for going near the nest?

What Do You Think?
1. Why do you think Mother told Pat about Lyo and Bijou?
2. Do you think going away was a good idea? Why or why not?
3. Pat thought Mr. Mugs was lost that day when he went away. Do you think Mr. Mugs was lost?
4. Why did Mother let Pat run away?

To be continued next month on a new page: Mr. Mugs – Rockets Away! – Part 2