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What's the story?
Pete the Cat is out for a walk, singing about how much he likes his new white sneakers, when he steps in a pile -- more like a mountain -- of strawberries. His new shoes are dyed red, but Pete doesn’t let it bother him. He sings about loving his red shoes … until he steps in a pile of blueberries. Then mud. Then water, which washes away the colors but leaves Pete with soggy, wet sneakers. But Pete remains unruffled: “I love my wet shoes,” he sings.
Is it any good?
This one’s a kid-pleaser, with funny, memorable text, bright colors, visual humor, and a downloadable song to boot. For such a simple story, it’s a page-turner too -- kids will be eager to see what happens next, even after many readings. They’ll giggle at Pete inadvertently stepping into a pile of blueberries, which on the page looks more like an ocean of blueberries. Each time he stains his shoes, Pete looks a bit peeved, but within a few beats he’s back in his groove, embracing the latest shade of his sneakers.
This debut by singing storyteller Eric Litwin -- also known as Mr. Eric -- flows with a strong rhythm.The watercolor illustrations by James Dean flow with a jazzy cool of their own. Some literal-minded kids might take issue when the red shoes get stained by blueberries and turn blue instead of purple -- but as Pete probably would say, it’s no big deal.
Sketch-like drawings are infused with rich watercolor for fun, bright pages. A playful mix of perspective adds to the pleasure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Pete reacts when his shoes change color. How would you feel if your brand-new sneakers got strawberry-stained right away?
Pete has reason to be upset, but he just keeps on singing. How do you cheer yourself up when you're disappointed?
Pete still likes his shoes, even as they change colors and get soaked. Have you ever thought something was ruined, then realized it was just as good as before -- if not even better?