Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (November 1, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pound
A few weeks ago, Rana DiOrio, the Chief Executive Pickle of LPP, and I, spent our lunch break at Books Inc. in San Francisco. We were on the hunt for a title that would highlight July’s theme of kindness. With the help from the wonderful folks at Books Inc., we were fortunate to discover Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell.
The book immediately caught my attention, as we had just featured McDonnell’s The Gift of Nothing, on our list of 10 Amazing eBooks We Love for Summer Travel. I had fallen in love with that story back in May when we did the post, and today I am happy to say that I have fallen in love again with McDonnell’s Hug Time.
The Story: Jules is a kitten on a mission to make the world a better place, one hug at a time. In the beginning of the story, he runs out into the world with is Hug To-Do List, determined to reach absolutely everybody, from his closest friends, to the butterflies in the park, and even the lonely creatures up in the North Pole. When he reaches the last person on his list, Jules is surprised to find the gesture reciprocated in a way that he was not expecting.
The Rhythm: Hug Time reads as a poem, with rhyming couplets that allow the story to flow naturally. It is a great candidate to be read aloud.
The Artwork: McDonnell’s artwork in Hug Time is reminiscent of his popular comic strip, Mutts. The illustrations are simple and endearing, adding life to Jules’ journey and the fun characters that he interacts with.
The Layout: The layout of this story is comfortingly classic, with the majority of the text at the top of the page and illustrations complimenting each line underneath. The format is simple and pleasant, allowing readers to absorb each message and enjoy each character in full.
The Message: The message in Hug Time is one of universal kindness. It highlights how one simple action can make an impact on the world, and emphasizes that an act of kindness is often appreciated and reciprocated. The reader is encouraged to embrace the world, and to bring kindness into it, starting with the people closest to them.
Conclusion: Hug Time is an endearing and enjoyable story with a positive message that is easy to understand. Readers will feel inspired to bring positivity into the lives of the people around them. Buy Hug Time from Amazon, your favorite bookstore, or your local library, to read as a family. It provides a wonderful opportunity for family hugs and a conversation about kindness.