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Smartypants (Pete in School) Hardcover – July 28, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-Readers may recall from What Pete Ate from A-Z (Putnam, 2001) that this dog eats anything. That gets him into a pickle when he visits his owner at school. Poppy Wise narrates as Pete eats the math teacher's pants. Mr. Grompi Spitzer promptly sends them to the principal's office, where the pup eats an encyclopedia, rendering him superintelligent and able to speak. He returns to school the next day disguised as Poppy Wise's cousin, and eventually charms the charming principal Miss Honeybee into relenting on the "no pets in school" rule. Fortunately, or un-, once Pete digests all his information, he goes back to being plain-old "dear sweet Pete." Kalman's fans will frolic through her complex and wacky paintings, playful text, and somewhat strung-out and predictable story. This is not Kalman's strongest work, but it's lots of fun for those who get the joke.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 2-4. Sometimes Kalman's books (and their outrageous humor) seem more aimed at adults than kids. But not this one. Pete, the shaggy dog introduced in What Pete Ate from A to Z (2001), is back--hungrier (and funnier) than ever. This time he goes to school with his owner, Poppy Wise, and her brother, Mookie (nicknamed Shmookie Scalandroopy by his sister), where he gobbles up, among other things, an encyclopedia. His literary indulgence becomes clear to his owners as they study at home that night: Pete not only speaks but also gives them answers to their homework. The next day, the excited Wise children bring Pete to school disguised as their brilliant cousin, Pearl Buttonweiser--but Pete's wagging tail eventually gives him away. The design and the artwork are signature Kalman: inventive, eye-catching, bold yet subtle. Some children may have trouble reading the hand-lettered text, but many will find it worth the effort to catch all the jokes. Readers will also find some interesting information. With so many witty asides and quirky artistic tangents, saying that this will be read more than once is an understatement. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (July 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399234780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399234781
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JoAnne Goldberg VINE VOICE on December 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although I am somewhat older than the suggested age range for this book, I loved the combination of witty illustrations and sly humor. Kalman's imagination is free-wheeling and far-reaching (have YOU ever considered what you'd do if your dog swallowed the remote?) and in a few words she encapsulates the essence of the educational experience--long stretches of boredom punctuated by occasional moments of terror.

The read-aloud length is ten minutes (fifteen if you're laughing really hard), just about perfect for children with short attention spans and their weary parents. The pop quiz at the end is worth the price of admission. Did I mention that all the characters have wonderfully creative names (and nicknames) and that the principal's bird realizes that he has a birdbrain? This was our first venture into Kalman territory, just enough to whet the appetite and make me eager to read the rest of her work.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maira Kalman's story of Pete in school is a wonder of creativity, understanding of the childhood brain, and the horror/joys of elementary school. My 7 year old grandson read every single little side comment. Some of the language is challenging to this good reader, but he sounded his way though with glee. I love Kalman and so do the kids I read to. Her unique illustrative style is so engaging and her slightly skewed point of view are an antidote to the dumbed down stuff being offered for young readers (and their grandparents). Bravo, Ms. K!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son brought this book home from his school's library. Reading it made me laugh right out loud so we had to buy it for our own mini library. I am a teacher and found the child's perspective on her teachers quite amusing. Very fun book. :-)
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Format: Hardcover
Stumbled upon this book at library and couldn't stop laughing. The author is so imaginative and gets right inside a kids head and says the things that they are probably thinking.....like why can't pets go to school? Gotta love Milton, the principal's 'song bird' that doesn't count as a pet because he is a songbird.

The author is irreverent-funny and I love that about the book. The names of all the teachers are funny, Pete is funny, the pictures are wierd and funny.

I'd give it 10 stars if I could. Perfect for a going to school kid who might be a wee bit nervous.
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Format: Hardcover
i love this book. it kind of reminds me of j.otto siebold in style, which i also love. it's the kind of book a parent can actually read to a child over and over again. there is always something new to see, hidden on the page to discover. and it is really funny and original. maira kalman's illustrations are to die for. a little primitive in a very sophisticated way. did i mention i love this book? i love this book!!
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Wonderful illustrations, an imaginative story, and great vocabulary. It should generate substantive discussions between parents and children.
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