Dean’s heavy-lidded blue cat loves a lot of things.
In fact, Pete “loves EVERYTHING”: playing on the swing set and the slide, “riding his skateboard,” making a sand castle at the beach, “learning new things” at school, “playing guitar and singing songs,” reading “all kinds of books,” and eating sweets. (Nothing even remotely healthful is featured on his list of favorite foods.) He loves his friends and his family, and they love him too. Pete is more a phenomenon than a character, the couldn’t-care-less expression he permanently wears crucial to his brand appeal. Those people who love Pete will probably love this book, but the babies they share it with will be puzzled. No matter how much the text tells them Pete loves this or that, he looks bored in every endeavor except for singing, when his pink tongue sticking out gives him the semblance of a smile. While several of the other cat characters are similarly expressionless, enough have upturned kitty mouths to thoroughly confuse readers who have associated the smiling faces of their caregivers with love from their earliest days.
As a vehicle for peddling Pete to babies, this book serves its purpose, but that’s the only one. (Board book. 1-3)