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Pete's a Pizza Hardcover – September 5, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (September 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062051571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062051578
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mr. Steig (The Toy Brother) introduces a game guaranteed to produce a good mood. On a rainy day, title character Pete flops down on the couch in an attitude of despair. His father notices, and "he thinks it might cheer Pete up to be made into a pizza." Pete allows himself to be carried into the kitchen, where he is kneaded and tossed like dough. "Next, some oil is generously applied. (It's really water.)... And then some tomatoes. (They're really checkers.)" Pizza-Pete bakes on the couch, (a.k.a. the pizza oven), but when it's time to cut slices (with a karate-chop gesture), "the pizza runs away and the pizza-maker chases him." Steig evidently has played pizza before. He substitutes talcum powder for flour and paper scraps for mozzarella; he notes that pizzas struggle when tickled. The text resembles a set of directions, with each step wryly presented as a concise sentence and plainly printed in sans serif capital letters. In keeping with his story's simplicity, Steig creates compact line drawings that are detailed with wild watercolor patterns but symmetrically placed in a spacious white background. The amiable quality of Steig's easy pizza recipe will amuse chef and entree alike. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-When Pete is in an especially bad mood because it is raining and he can't play ball with his friends, his father decides that it might cheer his son up "to be made into a pizza." The boy is placed on the kitchen table where he is kneaded, tossed, and covered with various toppings including oil (water), tomatoes (checkers), and cheese (pieces of paper). His mother comments that she doesn't like tomatoes, eliciting some giggles from Pete. He is then placed in the oven (the couch) and eventually returned to the table to be sliced. At this juncture, he runs away and is pursued by his father who captures and hugs him. By now the sun is shining and Pete goes outside to look for his friends. The interplay between father and son is both entertaining and endearing. The man says, after tickling Pete, "Pizzas are not supposed to laugh!" and Pete responds, "Pizza-makers are not supposed to tickle their pizzas!" Steig's spare line drawings and zany watercolor paintings are centered against a large white background. The wry text is printed in all capital letters, making it look almost like a recipe. From its tongue-tantalizing title to its understated but delightful ending, Pete's a Pizza is a tour de force.
Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, and received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (978-1416902065) in 1970. His works also include The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book, and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. His most recent books published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux are Shrek! (released by DreamWorks as a major motion picture) and Wizzil, illustrated by Quentin Blake. School Library Journal named Shrek! a Best Book of 1990 and said of it, "Steig's inimitable wit and artistic dash have never been sharper or more expertly blended."

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a great, great kid's book.
Catherine S. Vodrey
We truly love this book; it's sweet and funny and the illustrations are wonderful.
Eric Meyer
When Dad announces it's time to slice the pizza (!), Pete runs off.
M. Allen Greenbaum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 29, 2004
Format: Board book
At the grand old age of (I kid you not) 90, the great children's author William Steig created a wonderful picture book. When I'm 90 I'll be lucky if I can determine how one uses a ballpoint pen, but Steig was always an original. His books have been read by pretty much every child since the dawn of time and his stories have a kind of eerie continuous popularity that's undeniable. With "Pete's a Pizza", Steig tells a story of a game that he used to play with his children when the weather was rough.

Pete's sad. He was going to play ball with his friends but the weather is awful outside. As Pete lies on the couch, miserable, his dad decides the only thing to be done is to make Pete into a pizza. First he kneads Pete, then he stretches him, then he twirls him in the air (cause that's what all great pizza makers do to their dough). A little oil, flour, and tomatoes as well as cheese and then it's into the oven (the couch). Then the pizza's done and needs to be cut, and before you know it the sun has come up and Pete can go outside and play with his friends.

It's just so doggone sweet. And not in that fake saccharine way either. Nope, this tale is just a very tender tale of a father trying to cheer his son up any silly way he can. It works of course, and you get the feeling that as Pete runs off to play with his fellows, he does so knowing that he's been loved. Pete's father's great, not afraid to chase and hug his boy when the moment calls for it. There are also spots of typical Steigian humor as well. When Pete's mom tickles him and his father informs him that "pizzas are not supposed to laugh", Pete replies (a little peevishly), "Pizza-makers are not supposed to tickle their pizzas!" Hard to argue that point.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric Meyer on January 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My wife and I are currently expecting our first baby, so we've been prowling the children's sections of bookstores putting together a little library. Of the books we've bought so far, "Pete's a Pizza" is definitely our favorite. We truly love this book; it's sweet and funny and the illustrations are wonderful. We can't wait to read it to our little one -- and to play "pizza" with her as well!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Catherine S. Vodrey on April 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a great, great kid's book. When my kids were toddlers, my husband and I used to "pancake" them--pretend to pour them out of a ladle, smooth them out on a griddle, flip them, then "pour syrup" over them and nibble on them. They thought this was absolutely hilarious and would get breathless with laughter. William Steig explores the same idea in this wonderful book, but has the father turning the son into a pizza instead. The father/son interaction--especially because both are so serious at playing this game--is both hilarious and touching. By the time the game is done, the sun has come out and Pete can go out and play with his friends after all--while carrying the happy memory of being "pizza-ed" by his dad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Poor Pete! He's in a sour mood because the rain has cancelled his ballgame with his pals. Fortunately, Pete's father knows a few things about cheering up a forlorn boy. The mustachioed, wild-shirted dad decides to turn his son into a pizza!

Dad takes Pete through all the right motions: Kneading the "dough" (a great backrub!), stretching it (yoga!), and twirling it in the air (don't try this at home!). Steig draws the dad adding oil ("It's really water."), and flour ("It's really talcum powder."), and tomatoes ("They're really checkers.") on top of Pete. "Pete can't stop giggling when his mother [who's been mostly quiet up till now] says she doesn't like tomatoes on her pizza."

Pete plays along, staying appropriately quiet (he's a pizza, after all), until his mom's well placed tickle elicits more giggles. His dad mock-admonished Pete: "Pizzas are not supposed to laugh," but the quick-witted Peter retorts," Pizza Makers are not supposed to tickle their pizzas!" When Dad announces it's time to slice the pizza (!), Pete runs off. His dad catches him and gives him a big hug, the rain stops, and the story, based on a game Mr. Steig used to play with his daughter, comes to a happy conclusion. Maybe families don't always operate in such big-hearted, well-coordinated ways, but it's nice to have such a wonderful model. The font is all in CAPITOL LETTERS, making this a great beginning reader's book. The warmth, humor, and fun pretend play make this yet another great book by William Steig.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I actually purchased this book before I even looked at it because I had heard such great things about it. I am so please I bought it. The pictures are adorable and the story is so silly. My husband really enjoys reading this to our baby.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My four-year old and I have been playing "pizza" ever since we read this book. It is hilarious fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on June 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When he published this in 1998, William Steig was over ninety. He is still the master of children's books. Pete's a Pizza does just what all of Steig's beautiful books do. It presents a moral (without being didactic) that emphasizes the joys of life. It also portrays Steig's original artwork. Pete's a Pizza has a simple story. Pete is in a bad mood. His loving parents decide to cheer him up by pretending he's a pizza. Children will love the comical story and the colorful pictures, and hopefully, readers will someday experience Steig's other marvelous books like Dominic, Abel's Island, The Real Thief, etc.
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