Starred review: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin. Illustrated by James Dean. HarperCollins, 2010 (978-0-06-190622-0) $16.99
Pete the cat loves his new white shoes so much, he even sings about them: "I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes..." Then Pete steps into a large pile of strawberries, turning his white shoes--red! But the insouciant Pete just thinks, "everything is cool" and changes his song: "I love my red shoes, I love my red shoes..." The story ends after several colorful adventures, with the comment: "The moral of Pete's story is: no matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song... because it's all good."
A repetitive question/answer format is almost sure to grab little kids, but there's variety and humor here for older readers too. The pictures of mellow Pete have an offbeat zaniness; sometimes he's got sneakers on all four feet, sometimes he's playing guitar, sometimes he's just hanging out with a cup of coffee. Size and perspective constantly change, which adds to the visual impact--there's something very funny somehow about enormous sneakers, or sneakers on varied numbers of feet.
Although this is a book with a strong general appeal, it could also have been designed to steal its way into the hearts of parents of kids with autism. That cheerful flexibility... ah, it's like finding a golden ticket, for us.
The book includes a link to an mp3 of performer Litwin and kids reading and singing the story. This could be a boon to anyone feeling a little uncertain of their storytelling skills, since it demonstrates where to put emphasis and provides a tune for Pete's song. But it's not quite the same without Pete's little off-the cuff thoughts after each adventure: "everything is cool," "awesome," "groovy," and "rock and roll!" * (3 & up)
© 2010 Wendy E. Betts
FTC disclosure: Review copy provided by the publisher. This blog is completely independent, but I receive a small percentage if you order books from Powell's via this site.
Other blog reviews:
The Reading Tub
Brimful Curiosities -- includes a video and craft idea.