Here’s another fun picture book to read to your toddlers and pre-schoolers. We loved reading it at our house because it inevitably led to some silly pizza-making with the kids.
Pete’s in a bad mood because it’s raining and he can’t go outside to play ball with the guys. So his parents decide to cheer him up by making him into a pizza. With a solemn face, Pete goes along with the game and lets his mother and father knead him into a pizza crust and add the tomatoes and cheese (really checkers and pieces of paper). There’s a lot of tickling and giggling in the process, and when the pizza’s ready to slice, Pete runs away and is captured and hugged, just in time to see that the sun has come out.
Steig’s illustrations in this book are wonderful. They seem simple but they are not – the low-key expressions on Pete’s and his parents’ faces really convey the gentle and playful mood of the story. That’s something a parent can appreciate while reading along!
Once you read this to your kids, they will want to be made into their own pizzas. And the fun will go on at your own house long after Pete has found his friends!
William Steig (1907 – 2003) was an American cartoonist, writer and illustrator and was a well-known cartoonist for The New Yorker, creating over 2,600 drawings and 117 covers for the magazine. He began writing children’s books later in his career and, in 1969, received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. His picture book Shrek! was the inspiration for the popular movie series of the same name. Steig received many awards and honors during his long career. His books for children include Dominic; The Real Thief; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; Amos & Boris, a National Book Award finalist; and Abel’s Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. Pete’s a Pizza was published in 1998.
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