Patrick McDonnell releases new book “Hug Time”

The Asbury Park Press has a nice write-up about Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell and his new book “Hug Time.”

“Hug Time” is McDonnell’s fourth children’s book and, like all his work, it is appropriate for ages zero to 110. His other kids’ books are “The Gift of Nothing,” “Art” and “Just Like Heaven,” which also happens to be the name of a song by The Cure (those rock ‘n’ roll roots are showing).

McDonnell’s artwork is deceptively simple. Always easy on the eyes, it has the wry edge of George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat” and the innocence of “Peanuts.”

His main characters in “Mutts” are based on his own pets â?? a white mutt named Earl and a calico named MeeMow. In the comic strip, MeeMow becomes Mooch, the kooky and imaginative foil to kind-hearted, solid Earl.

McDonnell’s humor is gentle, but is also spot-on in its depiction of the behavior of cats and dogs, which makes it a laugh-out-loud treat for so many pet owners.

Patrick will be at the Ocean County Library in Toms River NJ tonight at 7 p.m. to talk about his book.