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Hug Time
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Hug Time

4.9 10
by Patrick McDonnell

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There was once a kitten so filled with love he wanted to give the whole world a hug!

And so Jules the kitten (also known in the Mutts cartoons as "Shtinky Puddin'") goes down the stairs to hug his friends, then all the birds in the park—and then he travels the world, hugging all those he meets! As Jules learns, a hug is the simplest—but


There was once a kitten so filled with love he wanted to give the whole world a hug!

And so Jules the kitten (also known in the Mutts cartoons as "Shtinky Puddin'") goes down the stairs to hug his friends, then all the birds in the park—and then he travels the world, hugging all those he meets! As Jules learns, a hug is the simplest—but kindest—gift we can give. And you can start giving right here, right now with the one who's closest to you. A joyous story about sharing love with a gently environmental theme.

Editorial Reviews

Bruce Handy
I'll give away the ending: "The world is so big ... / And yet so small, / It's time that we embrace it all. / That's something that we all can do. / Start with the one who's closest to you." Hard to argue with that if you're a 4-year-old, or the parent of one, however much the cynic in either of you might want to. Hard also to argue with McDonnell's sublime drawing of teeny Jules just managing to hug the chin of a huge, very content blue whale—the whale might be purring—or his evocation of a starry night sky with a Jackson Pollock vocabulary of blots and drips. Simple but effective, like the book itself.
—The New York Times
Carolyn Hax
McDonnell, creator of the "Mutts" comic strip, knows how to make a little ink go a long way, which is a relief in the overdone universe of picture books. Likewise his message is at once spare and complex.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

McDonnell (Just Like Heaven), creator of the comic strip Mutts, has a fan base that will greet this book with open arms. The strip's hero, the cat Jules, sets out to hug one of every sort of animal in the world. This large goal is made less overwhelming by the book's diminutive trim size and the conviction on Jules's tiny, wide-eyed face (famous for his big red honker). McDonnell's previous books had sparer palettes; this one combines warm, cream pages with pastel ink-and-watercolor vignettes to pleasing effect. Double-page spreads of snowy Arctic expanses under a moonlit turquoise sky provide a tense moment ("But at the North Pole, Jules sadly found/ What it would be like with no one around"). The artist quickly dispels the audience's concern, because as Jules starts to sniff, a polar bear offers him a hug. Meter and rhyme wobble a bit ("There once was a kitten so filled with love,/ He wanted to give the whole world a hug"), but the sentiment seems to come from the heart. McDonnell's carefully mixed gouaches and his able draftsmanship-the rarer the animal, the less likely he is to resort to caricature-hint at newly revealed talents. Ages 3-6. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Readers of the funny pages who turn to the comic strip Mutts are sure to love this little book endorsing environmental awareness, which is written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. All the characters in the book are drawn with the slightly caricature-like style on plain background found in the strip. The story centers on a little kitten, Jules, who wants to give the whole world a hug. He starts embracing and affirming his mistress Doozy, moves on to trees and creatures in his neighborhood. Soon he is on a ship that allows him to hug to all kinds of endangered species in Africa and eventually in the North Pole. In no time, he is back home to give a good night hug to Doozy, philosophizing that the one thing we all can do is start our hugging "with the person closest to you." This story text itself is simple, written in rhyming couplets. While the target audience is the picture book crowd, it may well be picked up as well by adults who are conscious of the importance of valuing our environment and everything and everyone in it, beginning of course, with those closest to us.
School Library Journal

Jules the kitten is so full of love that he wants to hug the whole world. Starting with his best friends, he expands his endeavor to cover the neighborhood and the park, and then journeys to other countries to embrace animals both familiar and exotic. After he himself is hugged by a polar bear, he heads home to bed. Jules, together with the friends who appear briefly, will be familiar to fans of the syndicated comic strip "Mutts," and the energetic, sketchy illustrations seem even more expressive and dynamic in the midst of warm buff background pages. Trying to hug a blue whale or an elephant, this small kitten (with his big red nose) is irresistible without ever crossing the line into saccharine. Unfortunately, the same is not true of the text, which is very simple and focuses only on one idea: hugs. The narrative soon becomes repetitive, and the rhyming verses are sometimes forced, as in "Exploring the rain forest by foot and canoe,/Jules discovered a species brand-new." Still, this book, with its tiny size and small-scale illustrations, might be enjoyed by youngsters when shared one-on-one.
—Marian DrabkinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A flock of small, yellow birds sitting in a tree takes flight. The last leaf falls and startles a sleeping bird on the ground below, who looks up to see his flock is gone. Mutts comic-strip character and occasional picture-book star Mooch the cat happens by and explains the flock flew south. The bird has a cry, and Mooch decides to lend a paw. They trek through the neighborhood, the city and a forest as the snows begin to fall. Mooch stops for a snooze, but the distraught bird breaks into tears again. They set off once more and shortly find the flock on a wire. Everyone's happy . . . but Mooch and his new friend must part. This wordless tale of good-Samaritanism and friendship plays out in simple, softly colored watercolors on heavy beige stock, with just enough background sketched in to provide a sense of setting without overwhelming the emotional drama taking place. McDonnell's sense of just-sweet-enough is exactly right, leaving readers feeling as if they are curled on the carpet next to the fire with Mooch. Warm and glowy. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.12(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Patrick McDonnell is the creator of the MUTTS comic strip, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. He has illustrated for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Reader's Digest, Time, Parents, and other journals, done CD covers for the Greatest Hits classical music series, and created a license plate for his home state of New Jersey. Hailed as "the next Charles Schulz," Patrick sits on the board of directors of the Humane Society of the United States, and has won numerous awards for both MUTTS and his animal welfare work. He is the author of THE GIFT OF NOTHING, ART, and JUST LIKE HEAVEN, and the co-author of KRAZY KAT: THE COMIC ART OF GEORGE HERRIMAN.

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
MommyBookworm More than 1 year ago
Mommy Bookworm's Thoughts: This is an adorable book!! It encourages kindness to everyone around us and shows that when we are kind to others, we will receive kindness in return. The illustrations are great! The reading level is definitely for ages 4+, but I think even younger children could enjoy this book because of the drawings, which take up most of the page. It's a great lesson in love! Dahlia Bookworm's Thoughts (11 years old): I like the book because it is cute and neat how the kitten wants to hug the whole world. I also like that the kitten actually traveled around the world to hug different animals. I can easily read it and would recommend it to little kids. Daisy Bookworm's Thoughts (7 years old): I like it when the polar bear asked the kitten if he needed a hug because I think it was cute. I also like all the pictures and coloring. I like the part where the kitten hugged a tiger because the tiger & kitten blend into each other. I recommend it to other kids and I can read it by myself without any help.
kitenarie More than 1 year ago
Doozy has so much love in his heart, and he decides to express it by hugging the world. He makes a list and sets out to accomplish his goal, and realizes that his love has to start at home. This book is great to have in your own library, but is also a really great gift to give for baby showers without having to worry too much about it being a duplicate (especially with the growing "the book is the card" trend).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My grandson just loved this book. It teaches about animals,compassion,empathy,friendship,love,and many other good values we want to instill into our children. It is all put forth in a clever format understandable by even the very young. A great read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is adorable. I love the poetic meter and the illustrations, while spare, are great, too. I love the cool blue sky he paints when Jules finds himeself at the North Pole and the picture of the lion hiding in the tall grasses. I think it would make a great Valentine's Day gift for a child or an adult. The themes of loving nature and those close to us can be appreciated by folks of all ages.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kristie I. for Readers Favorite “Hug Time” written by Patrick McDonnell is a cute story that is short and to the point, yet it has a great message to share with young children. Jules, a little kitten, wants to give the whole world a hug. After making a hug to-do list, Jules sets out into the world and begins to give a hug to all of the creatures he meets including a butterfly and a panda. Jules meets a polar bear and this message is shared: “The world is so big, yet so small, it is time that we embrace it all, start with the one that is closest to you.” This is an adorable story and a great one to give to and read with young children. Written in rhyme, this story flows nicely and is fun to read. This book has such a good message to share with children starting at a young age that a hug is a simple, great and kind thing one can share with those around him or her. This is a great book to help children learn to treat others with kindness and how they would like to be treated by others. The audio version is very well-done. It is easily understood and followed and the voice is soothing. Listening to this audio version is a great activity and bonding experience every parent should take the time to have with his or her child. This would also make a wonderful baby shower gift or gift for a new parent.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
What a loveable character with a positive message of love and caring. Great for emerging readers with a wholesome theme and adorable illustrations. The cover of the book is so cute. Thumbs up for Hug Time.