Pete’s a Pizza, by William Steig

Pete’s a Pizza, by William Steig (1998, Harpercollins, ISBN 0-06-205157-1)

I’ve seen this book pretty much every time we’ve visited the library (the cover is pretty attention-getting), but this is the first time we’ve picked it up because GirlChild usually picks her own (randomly off the shelf); I would like to make sure she reads some well-known, well-loved, award-winning authors as well, though!

I didn’t know what to expect from the story, so I was kind of pleasantly surprised at the cuteness of it. Pete is a little boy who is grumpy because it started raining just as he is getting ready to go outside to play ball with his friends. His dad cheers him up by pretending that Pete’s a pizza he’s making…kneading the dough, tossing it, adding the toppings, etc. After the “pizza” is all cooked (on the couch “oven”), Pete’s dad goes to “cut” it…and the pizza hops up and runs away giggling. In the end, the sun comes out so Pete can go play, and lots of loving fun has been had.

I was kind of thrown off by the text of this book. It’s written in all caps, and that was a little off to me. I guess it seems more like captions to the pictures than a story that way (in addition to the fact that the text is printed under a large illustration that takes up most of each page). However, once I got into it, I forgot about the strange typeface and paid more attention to the illustrations (which is what a child would be watching anyway). The illustrations are in classic Steig style (similar to what’s seen in Doctor De Soto), and they are bright and simple. The mood of the story–lighthearted and loving–is captured in the pictures moreso than in the text.

GirlChild’s Reactions: GirlChild enjoyed this book, but she loves playing pizza with Daddy more than reading it. 🙂 I’ve found GirlChild giggling on the kitchen table, grinning in the bathroom sink, and squealing about not going into “the real oven, Daddy, just the couch!” several times since we brought it home. It’s a perfect read for parents and their little pizzas.

Additional titles:

(Newbery Honor–1983)
(Caldecott Medal–1970)
Abel's Island (Newbery Award & Honor Books) (Newbery Honor–1977)

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