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Pete Won't Eat (I Like to Read®) Hardcover – September 1, 2013
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Pete’s a picky little piggy. When Mom serves her four young ’uns heaping bowls of green slop, Dot, Rose, and Gus are in hog heaven. But not Pete. No, “Pete won’t eat.” As his siblings run off and have fun outdoors, Pete faces a plight known to many a kid: the admonishment from a mom to “stay until you eat.” Time passes, and Mom feels guilty and offers to make Pete a sandwich; in the meantime, Pete’s growing curiosity about the slop leads him to take a bite and then another. Turns out, it’s pretty good. The next day, Pete even helps to cook the slop. This I Like to Read title presents a kid-recognizable scenario and short sentences—with simple dialogue—in a large font. The charming pen-and-ink watercolors are cleanly placed on white backgrounds and lend an extra helping of humor to the scenario at hand. Brand-new readers, particularly of the finicky variety, should enjoy this one. Preschool-Grade 3. --Ann Kelley
"This charmer of an early reader presents an ironic twist on the tried-and-true picky-eater character by casting him as a pig. . . . McCully's watercolors are comically expressive and engaging. New readers will eat this up." (Starred Review)(Kirkus Reviews)
"The book's bigger format leaves plenty of room for the uncluttered, colorful cartoon pictures and appropriately placed large font. Short, simple sentences; similar vowel sounds; and repetition add to readers' ability to decode the text." (Starred Review)(School Library Journal)
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Here is what happens: Pete won't eat (ok). Mom takes a stand and tells him he must (great!). The other kids get to go out to play and Pete can't (way to take a stand mom!). Then... Then everything falls apart.
Here is the actual text that I take issue with:
"'I hate green slop,' says Pete. 'Poor me.' Mom cries. [picture of mom crying] 'I am a mean mom!' 'I will make something Pete likes.' [picture of mom rushing downstairs to kitchen] 'I will make you a sandwich [to Pete, before slop is tasted],' says mom."
Not "why don't you taste it and see if you like it?" or "I understand you don't want to, but this is what I worked hard to make everyone." or "I'm sorry you feel that way, but this is what is for dinner."
She makes him a flipping sandwich. Now, the book does end with Pete trying and liking his green slop. But please, for the sake of your dignity, change the ending like I did:
"Mom loves Pete and is sad he won't try the slop she worked hard to make. She goes to check on Pete, gives him a hug, and asks him to try again. Pete try's the slop. He likes the slop! Mom makes herself a sandwich. Pete puts his empty bowl in the sink and goes out to play."
Or, better yet, pick a different book to read your picky eater. Please.
Kids can have their own opinions and time be given to make their own decisions. Mom doesn't have to be a dictator. This book is a great book from the children's perspective. Not every book in your library needs to be correct for moms.
This title is recommended for first graders or children from 4 to 8. It is aligned to the Common Core State Standards in kindergarten and first grade for Reading Standards for Foundational Skills, Informational Text, and Literature. In addition to the above, the book is also aligned to the CCSS for Language for first grade. Second grade CCSS alignments include Reading Standards for Literature and Speaking and Listening.