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!

To be continued next month!