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Hug Time    by Patrick McDonnell order for
Hug Time
by Patrick McDonnell
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's impossible to read Patrick McDonnell's Hug Time without smiling - and looking for someone or something to hug! The author of The Gift of Nothing, Art, and Just Like Heaven now brings us a book full of joy - joy in connecting with others and joy in the world's diversity.

It begins, 'There once was a kitten so filled with love / He wanted to give the whole world a hug.' So Jules makes his Hug To-Do List and heads out into the world on his very own hug quest. He starts with his friends, and moves on to buttercups and birds, a blue whale, a baobab tree, and all kinds of animals.

I love Jules' sense of wonder when, encountering a new species in the rain forest, 'Kneeling, he whispered, "We welcome you."' This indomitable kitten ventures all over the world and when he gets to the humuhumu fish, it's 'number three hundred six on his Hug To-Do List'.

Towards the end, Patrick McDonnell sagely reminds us, 'The world is so big ... / And yet so small, / It's time that we embrace it all.' Don't miss his delicate watercolor illustrations and exuberant celebration of life, love and hugs. Valentines of all ages will adore Hug Time!

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