This week we bring you Pete the Cat. According to The New York Times (best seller children's picture book list) he's already a huge hit in America. It was only a matter of time before Pete and his songs made their way into our home. E was given this book as a Christmas gift and I was a little tentative at first. The narrative wasn't quite my cup of tea at first glance and I was unsure if the songs would engage E. Could I be more wrong?
Pete the Cat is the cool dude of picture books and if his skateboard and surfboard aren't enough proof then just check out his songs. E can't get enough and I've been indulging his interests pretty heavily via this book and the free online song downloads (more on that later).
Pete has a favorite shirt with four groovy buttons. He's got a song that he sings about said buttons and it's his theme tune for this story. One by one the buttons pop off, but instead of crying Pete just keeps right on singing. Even when the last button pops off it does nothing to deter Pete's chilled out mood because, guess what, he's still got his belly button! Yes folks, this feline has got a belly button (just like E as I've been told numerous times) and he starts singing his song about that button instead. He even sums it up with a fitting moral: 'stuff will come and stuff will go ... we keep on singing.'
I love Pete's attitude and I'm a sucker for cats with human attributes. E is especially entertained by how each button pops off in dramatic fashion (see the cover illustration) and he loves to count them. Counting, numbers and basic math are actually big themes in this story and there's a lesson for your young reader each time a button pops off.
For a taster of Pete the Cat and his antics visit his extensive website at HarperCollins. We spend a fair amount of time listening and singing to his songs and I'm sure it won't be long before another of his adventures enters our home library.