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What Pete Ate from A to Z Hardcover – October 1, 2001
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You would not believe the things this dog Pete puts in his stomach. An accordion, for starters. Then an eggbeater, a glue stick, Mrs. Parsley's pink pocketbook, and cousin Rocky's underpants. ("Uggh!") Pete's faithful mistress, Poppy Wise, is at her wit's end. And yet, she can't help loving that dog. ("Quite a lot.") So, from A to Z (in a loose, meandering way), Poppy inventories her insatiable pooch's intake, with loads of parenthetical asides, witty commentary, and an unforgettable cast of characters. Maira Kalman, zany and talented source of Next Stop Grand Central, Ooh-la-la (Max in Love), and other exquisitely quirky picture books, uses the alphabet as a framework for what is truly an ode to a well-loved if incorrigible--dog. Her spectacularly rich gouache paintings are just the thing to illustrate this linguistic playpen. Read this one aloud-kids and adults alike will sit enthralled. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Kalman (Next Stop Grand Central) unleashes her extravagant whimsy in this loquacious alphabet book, "in which a certain dog devours a myriad of items which he should not." Shaggy yellow Pete, staring benignly from the book's flame-red cover, is an omnivore. According to his astonished owner, who speaks in a torrent of interjections and parenthetical asides, Pete first dined on an "accordion. All of it." Pete's torso takes on the instrument's shape as he springs in the air. He next "ate a bouncing ball that belonged to uncle Bennie's dog Buster. (Buster is no bargain. He barks all the time, but still...)." A wan fellow stands with a frowning white bulldog at his feet, gesturing at a picture of the vanished ball; empty chairs in a composition reminiscent of Matisse augment the sense of tongue-in-cheek tragedy. Pete proceeds through the letters of the alphabet, enjoying sticky stuff ("Gooey gluey dog"), "Mrs. Parsley's pink pocketbook" and a pair of "underpants. Uggh!" A loose story line emerges as Pete eats Bennie's money ("Now Bennie has no money [none] to buy Buster a new ball...") and the Parsleys make multiple appearances. Kalman paints affectionate portraits of the unstoppable Pete, the now-missing objects and their disappointed owners, and her hand-printed text acts as an element of the illustrations. Her overblown alliteration and fabulous gouaches gush with glamour. All ages.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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The style of drawing is what I would call sophisticated-immature. But the text is the key to all of this. A friend of ours has a dog named Scout. She regularly posts on Facebook something like "What Scout Ate Today" and describes him opening a cupboard in the kitchen, grabbing a bag of flour, dragging it to the bedroom and climbing on the bed, then merrily eating through the bag and chowing down on the flour while leaving a huge mess for our friend to find when she gets home from work.
This book's for Scout!
Most recent customer reviews
So, we must all read Maira Kalman books and
appreciate the quirky, painterly, funtastical characters and stories to feed our imaginative...Read more