December 2009

Patrick McDonnell

Holiday cheer from Patrick McDonnell
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What marks the start of the holiday season for you?
Drawing the MUTTS holiday comic strips. In doing a daily comic I need to be between five and eight weeks ahead of the publication date, so I start playing holiday music and thinking about the holidays as early as October. I love the holiday season and always look forward to it.

Does your family have one very special holiday tradition?
Each person in my wife's extended family, about 30 people, picks a name on Thanksgiving and becomes that person's Secret Santa. We buy a holiday gift for that one person (of course, we all buy gifts for the children). On Christmas Eve we exchange these gifts. We sit in a huge circle and the presents are opened one at a time. It takes all night, but it's a lot fun.

What are you most looking forward to during the holiday season?
A dusting of snow and the quiet, peaceful quality it brings to the morning walk that I take with my dog, Amelie.

What’s your favorite holiday book or song?
My favorite holiday song is Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride"; my favorite holiday CD is Vince Guaraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol tops my list as for holiday reading.

What books are you planning to give to friends and family?
Since I'm an author, my family expects (and I delight in giving them) my latest books. This year they are: my new children’s book, Wag!, a gift edition of The Gift of Nothing and my collaboration with Eckhart Tolle—Guardians of Being.

What was the best book you read this year?
I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta (I read this book often) and Sunnyside by Glen David Gold.

What’s your number one resolution for 2010?
To do more to help animals and the planet.

BookPage Meet the Illustrator feature with Patrick McDonnell

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By Patrick McDonnell
Little, Brown
ISBN 9780316045483

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