Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues
Written by Kimberly & James Dean; illustrated by James Dean
Harper Collins, 2015, Ages 3-7
Pete the cat and his friends, Gus, Alligator, and Toad are having such a groovy time at the beach surfing and turfing. All of a sudden, the sun starts to go down and Pete thinks about what they will do now? Then, he gets a great idea to have a sleepover at his house, so the fun can continue. Pete, Gus, Alligator, and Toad have a party in Pete's room until Pete decides it is time for bed. But what happens when Pete's friends don't want to go to bed? They just want to stay up instead. After hearing clap, rat-a-tat, and munch Pete gets hit with the bedtime blues.
The writing style of this book is very creative and silly. Onomatopoeia is used throughout the story, which adds some humor to the story. For example, Pete hears "Munch, munch, munch" and the word itself sounds just like it's spelled. So at this point in the story, the reader can hear the sound of someone eating in their mind. Rhyme is another literary element that makes this book so enjoyable for a young audience. Words such as head, bed, hunch, and munch are all example of rhyme. The rhyme helps the words dance across the page and the story flow, leaving not one dull moment. Overall, the style of writing of this book is clearly aimed at a younger audience and to set the tone.
The illustrations show a variety of shapes and colors. The pictures show Pete the cat and his friends in their pajamas having so much fun. The dark blues really help create a calming and soothing mood since Pete and his friends are getting ready for bedtime. In contrast, the bright colors such as red, yellow, and orange help get the reader excited and really feel that excitement any child would feel from playing in the sun at the beach. The illustrations definitely extend the text and add to the overall joy of the literary piece.
I would recommend childcare providers, parents, teachers, and nurses to get this for the children they take care of. A child who is sick and on bed rest could benefit a lot emotionally and socially from having a nurse read this story to them. Its sense of humor would light up the child's mood and take their mind off of being in the hospital. This story is great to have on the shelf at home and in the classroom for group story time. It reminds children of when they have to go to bed and don't want to. This is a great book for preschool and early school age children.
Reviewed by Naomi Sade LaVette