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Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool Hardcover – November 26, 2013
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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Pete the Cat, with his droopy eyes, doesn’t seem like the kind of dude to dig Valentine’s Day—and he’s not. But his feelings change quickly when he skateboards past his friend Callie, who tells him it’s her favorite holiday. After skating away, Pete thinks about how special each of his friends are and sets to making the perfect cards to celebrate them. Larry gets a valentine with a picture of a football; Trey gets a guitar; and John, a piano. Soon, he’s making a card for the school bus driver, the crossing guard, and the librarian. But there’s one bestie he’s forgot . . . Callie! This sweet book commemorates love between friends and gratitude for people who help you every day. Librarians, beware: this includes Valentine’s cards, stickers, and a poster, so, although it may not be right for all collections, some kid (or kids) is going to have fun with Pete this Valentine’s Day. As the title page says, I Meow You. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ann Kelley
From the Back Cover
Pete the Cat thinks Valentine's Day isn't cool . . . that is, until he realizes how many special cats there are in his life!
Join Pete the Cat on this awesome Valentine's Day adventure, complete with Valentine's Day cards, stickers, and a fold-out poster!
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Unlike some of the "I Can Read" books, the Pete books usually have a complete story, with a clear beginning, a couple of developments in the middle, and then a satisfying ending. I like that even in very early readers. What happens makes sense and the endings are satisfying. Each fully illustrated page has two sentences, running from four to seven words each. That's a nice length and a good and fair challenge for a little starting reader. The drawings fully support the text, and while they look a bit amateurish at first the characters are actually expressive and presented effectively.
Many of the Pete books have a mild message, (be yourself, do your best). Here, Pete is choosing an outfit to wear to his first day at school. He takes advice from everyone and ends up way, way overdressed and rather silly looking. Finally, Pete takes off everything and puts on what he wants. Be yourself indeed. The message didn't strike me as terribly heavy-handed, but that's mostly because it was hidden under so many layers of silliness. The Pete books vary in their messageness, and this one does fall a bit to the obvious side of the balance. That said, it's fun and a bit ambitious, which is a nice touch for such an early reader.
So, all in all, this is one of the few early readers books that strikes me as "set worthy" and we've been happy to collect them all over time. The paperback versions are particularly good value.