An imperturbable blue cat walks along and sings his song regardless of what he steps in.
Pete the Cat loves his white Chucks so much that he sings a repetitive ditty: “I love my white shoes, / I love my white shoes, / I love my white shoes.” (In order to accompany himself, he removes the two sneakers from his front feet and picks up an electric guitar.) Presumably not looking where he is going, he steps into a “large pile” of strawberries. The bright gouache illustrations depict Pete standing atop a mountain of red fruits—on it, not really in it, but no matter. His shoes turn red; Pete thinks to himself that “everything is cool!” and sings about his red shoes. Then—“Oh no!”—he steps into a heap of blueberries. “What color did it turn his shoes?” asks the narrator. All the children who have learned basic color theory will cry, “Purple!” and feel betrayed when the page turn indicates that Pete’s sneakers have in fact turned blue. A walk through some mud turns them brown, and then a stroll through a bucket of water turns them white again. (Now they go “squeak squeak squeak” as he walks.) Pete’s ability to shrug off the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune without even opening his eyes all the way is a quality many parents might wish their children shared, but it makes him awfully hard to relate to.
Pete may seem like an appealing role model to adults, but any child who has experienced the smirching of a new pair of shoes probably won’t buy the cool he’s peddling. (Picture book. 3-5)