Jane G Meyer's Reviews > What Pete Ate from A to Z

What Pete Ate from A to Z by Maira Kalman
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Jun 07, 11

bookshelves: picture-books, alphabet-picture-books
Read in May, 2011

Funny. This book is plain funny. The premise is hilarious, and the illustrations are humorous. The text is semi-sarcastic in places, and it took my five-year-old a few readings to get most of what the author was saying. The pictures and the idea are what had him coming back to this story many times a day.

My only criticism is that alphabet books are typically written for toddlers. Most five, and six, and seven-year-olds, who will get the biggest kick out of this book, are already well past learning their ABC's. This book isn't worth much to a three-year-old. The illustrations are colorful, and they might want to look at the silly pictures of the Pete, the dog, but they won't appreciate the D page where Pete "ripped the head off my dear doll Dinky." Frankly, that's my least favorite page...

I posted about sarcasm in picture books on my website several months ago. I think this book is just on the borderline of what works and what doesn't. One step further and I think it would be a case of a children's book written for a NY 20-something editor...
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