Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

Common Sense Media says

Laid-back cat helps Santa in fun holiday adventure.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Meant to enterain, not educate. But some of the couplets are reminiscent of those in "A Visit From St. Nicholas," which could send kids back to that classic poem. 

Positive messages

Respond to the call when asked for a favor, and be generous at holiday time. As the chorus says, "At Christmas we give, so give it your all." There's also a message kids can appreciate that "small is cool" (as it says on a sign held by one of Santa's helpers thanking Pete). As Pete says, "Although I am small, at Christmas we give, so I'll give it my all." 

Positive role models

Pete the Cat doesn't hesitate to help out when asked, and steps in to save Christmas by delivering presents to the kids of the world when Santa Claus cannot. 

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pete the Cat Saves Christmas is a holiday-themed book in the bestselling Pete the Cat series. Pete is more engaged than usual (though he still stares out at the reader with his big gold eyes and deadpan expression) and even heroic as he steps up when Santa's too sick to deliver kids' presents on Christmas Eve. The book offers  positive messages about giving "your all" to help others and that even if you're small, you can be a big help to someone in need.

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What's the story?

Santa's too sick to take out the sleigh on Christmas Eve, so who does he call to deliver gifts to the world's kids? Pete the Cat! "I'll do it!," says Pete. "And although I am small, at Christmas we give, so I'll give it my all." Pete drives his VW minibus to the North Pole, loads it up with presents, hitches Santa' reindeer to the minibus, and off they go.

Is it any good?


PETE THE CAT SAVES CHRISTMAS has more story than other Pete the Cat books, and Pete seems less dazed and more than just deadpan. In this one he's actually engaged and heroic, and gives "his all" for the kids of the world. The bright ink-and-watercolor illustrations are suitably snowy and cheery, and it's especially fun to see the minibus and reindeer parked on a rooftop and flying through the air. There's a nice message, too, of being willing to take on a challenge when asked and helping others in need.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what's appealing about the Pete the Cat series. Why do you think the Pete books so popular? 

  • How does Pete the Cat Saves Christmas compare with other Pete the Cat books you've read? Is it as funny? It the art as good or better? 

  • What do you like most in the Pete the Cat series -- the pictures or the stories? How do the illustrations help tell the story? 

Book details

Author:Eric Litwin
Illustrator:James Dean
Topics:Cars and trucks, Adventures, Holidays
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Harper Press
Publication date:September 25, 2012
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4 - 8
Read alone:5 - 8
Available on:Hardback

This review of Pete the Cat Saves Christmas was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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