Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas Book Poster Image
Pete gives his kind of gifts in sweet, fun carol reboot.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids can compare the gifts named in the traditional Christmas carol to the ones in Pete's version. 

Positive Messages

Implied message that it's fun to celebrate the holiday and give gifts to friends. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Pete is fun-loving, kind, and generous to his friends and takes them on a road trip so they can get out of the snow and have fun on the beach. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas, by Kimberly and James Dean, gives news lyrics to the familiar Christmas carol, listing gifts that fit laid-back Pete's character as he takes his animal pals on a road trip from the snow to the beach.   They include "8 guitars strumming," "6 skateboards rolling," "5 onion rings," and "4 far-out surfboards." It's snowing for most of the story, but on the 10th day of Christmas, Pete's yellow minibus full of wacky animals arrives at the sunny shore, where Pete sets up a Christmas tree near the palm trees. Lots of silly fun and generous giving to inspire Pete the Cat fans. 

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What's the story?

In PETE THE CAT'S 12 GROOVY DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, the laid-back kitty takes his animal friends on a "road trip to the sea," giving a gift to each one he picks up in his yellow minibus. The text echos the cadence and repetition of the familiar "Twelve Days of Christmas" carol, but the gifts reflect Pete's style and personality, from "4 far-out surfboards" to "7 concert tickets" and "9 ugly sweaters." The collection of animals he transports gets funnier by the page, too, including "10 sloths a-sleeping"! They finally reach the beach on the 12th day, where we see "12 friends a-rockin'."

Is it any good?

Fans of Pete the Cat will love the crazy Christmas fun of Pete and his animal buddies, including an alligator, platypus, turtle, frog, and mouse. But anyone familiar with the "Twelve Days of Christmas" carol will get a kick out of Pete's version of the lyrics, especially "5 onion rings" in place of the traditional golden ones. In Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas, Pete brings his laid-back good vibes to his friends and takes the reader along on this fun road trip from snow to sand. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about changing the lyrics to a traditional carol in Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas. What's fun about singing Christmas carols each year? What's fun about changing the familiar lyrics? 

  • What do you like about the art in Pete the Cat books? How can you tell Pete's having fun when his expression doesn't change much? 

  • Which page do you like best? Which of the gifts the animals get is something you'd like to have? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animal stories and holiday tales

Themes & Topics

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