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Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes Hardcover – March 2, 2010
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1 A slight episode about a navy-blue cat, new white shoes, and maintaining a positive outlook. Pete the Cat strolls down the street singing, I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes. Then he steps in (actually climbs up) a huge hill of strawberries that turn his pristine sneakers red. Did Pete cry? Goodness, no! He kept walking along and singing his song. I love my red shoes.... He proceeds to step in a mound of blueberries and then a mud puddle, each incident changing his sneakers to a new hue (the colors never blend). Unsmiling but placid, Pete takes it all in stride. After stepping into a bucket more like a tub of water, he notices that his sneakers are not only white again, but also wet. Even though they are back to their original color, the next illustration perplexingly shows Pete walking along with each shoe sporting one of the four colors highlighted in the book. Bright, childlike illustrations show the long-limbed feline regularly altering his footwear but continuing not to watch where he's walking. The moral of the story keep going no matter what happens to you in life may sound like good advice, but it doesn't instill any sense of power in children it just tells them to accept their fate. The downloadable song might help spark interest, but there's not much here to get excited about. Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
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From the Back Cover
Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand new white shoes. Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown to WET as we steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries and other big messes! But no matter what color his shoes are are, Pete keeps movin' and groovin' and singing his song...because it's all good.
Ages: 3 - 7
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Top customer reviews
Together, they created this incredible book.
In it, Pete the Cat has shoes he loves. These shoes get abused. Does Pete cry about this, though? Goodness no! He keeps walking along, and singing his song.
The story uses repetitive phrasing, simple words and call and response to make a wonderful experience for both reader and listener, along with lush and unique artwork. Concepts conveyed are very basic colors (white, red, blue, brown), listening skills (the listener has to pay attention to know when to answer the color that Pete's shoes turn and when to say "goodness no!") and that little things aren't catastrophes.
For me? I love this book. I get bored reading the same book again and again to my children. I rarely get bored reading Pete. I'm always discovering new little bits that James Dead added into the illustrations, and singing along with the story can be quite joyous.
My kids? My [3 year old] daughter loves this story. She gets excited for the call and response portions, and she pays attention to the (admittedly very simple) story because of this.
My [3 year old] son is a whole other level, though. He has special needs, and this book speaks loudly and comfortingly to him. He will sit and reread it by himself for an hour or more. I don't know if it's the repetition, the music, the illustrations, the concepts, or just a beautiful combination that engages him, but engage it does.
His preschool teacher also reports that his entire classroom of special needs children feel exactly the same.
We can't get enough of Pete the Cat in this house, and have spread the love to many others. Order this, and then follow up with Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, and after May 2012, snatch up a copy of Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons (or preorder it now, we did). Also essential? Merrymakers Pete the Cat Doll
Don't be afraid to hit the net for Pete, either. There are some wonderful prints and original artwork available on the artists own website, music and storytelling available from the author, and videos that have been shared on large video sharing sites (ahem) of Litwin and Dean performing the stories and other works.
Never have I had a near-riot in the library on Library Day after those little ones first heard and saw the story of Pete the Cat.
Pete the Cat sings: I Love My White Shoes. I love my White Shoes. I love my White Shoes. How shall I describe our Pete? Fun, fun, fun! Frankly, I want to be just like Pete: unflappable, flexible, and adaptable. Make lemonade out of lemons. Go with the flow. One reviewer indicated the lesson is terrible: Accept your fate. Oh, I disagree. Pete saw no fate--just circumstances to turn into the next pleasant venture on his road of life. Pete? At the beginning he has new white shoes which he loves. In each adventure he steps into colorful piles--strawberries, blueberries, mud-- each time turning his shoes into a new color. Does he whine? Does he complain? "Goodness no!" He just sings a new song about blue shoes, red shoes, brown shoes. Oh, yes, there IS magic in this story, Virginia!!
In my school library, PK-4 (4-year-olds) practically demanded Pete the Cat for three weeks in a row. Never mind my new choice to read for the week--they wanted Pete!! So Pete it was--for three straight weeks.
(Secretly, I found it endearing that those children came into the library, singing, "I love my White Shoes. I love my white shoes---" and insisting, "We want Pete the Cat!" So I read it to them three weeks in a row.)
What is it about the song and book that plays such a chord on the hearts of children? The whimsy, I think. Also, tucked into a little envelope on the back of the front cover is an invitation to come visit their spot on YouTube and experience the song from the actual writer (Eric Litwin) and illustrator (James Dean, no, not that James Dean). Or, you can go to Harper Collins, the publisher.
Frankly, things don't get much better than a happy song about each and every bad luck event, each of which can be turned into something positive. What's not to like? This is a book every child will love--and the adult in his/her life!!