11 November 2013

Book Review: Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James & Kim Dean

When I saw the new Pete the Cat book at the book fair, I had to buy it. I loved Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. Unfortunately, the art work is the only thing that ties this latest Pete the Cat adventure to the previous books. Eric Litwin, author of the first four Pete the Cat books, didn't write this one. Instead, James Dean, the artist/creator of Pete, and his wife authored this latest edition.

I've been a fan of James Dean for nearly twelve years now. My wife and I have several of his prints in our house. James even painted an original Pete the Cat with my wife's engagement ring at Pete's feet for my proposal to my wife; that's something I'll treasure forever. And Dean's art work in this latest Pete the Cat book is as great as ever, but the story itself is the book's weakness.

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses begins with Pete being in a bad mood, which is a big departure from the previous Pete the Cat books. In the Litwin books, Pete was usually happy and always chill. But hey, everyone has bad days every now and then, right? Especially cats. The good news is, Pete sheds the blues and helps some friends feel better along the way.

But the big difference between this Pete the Cat book and the four written by Eric Litwin is the flow of the story. The Deans' story has a lot more words per page and doesn't really have the rhythm of the previous books. But the worst part is there's no song. There's a repetitive passage, but it's not a song. And it's just not the same. You can listen to the book at harpercollinschildrens.com/feature/petethecat and make up your own mind.

I hope Eric Litwin hasn't permanently parted ways with Pete. Lucky for me, there's one Litwin authored Pete book that I haven't yet read, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. I hope it's not the last I get to enjoy.

My rating:  (It's still Pete after all.)

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