Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review - Pete With No Pants

Pete With No Pants
by Rowboat Watkins
Date: 2017
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Meet Pete.

Pete is gray. He's round. And he's not wearing any pants.

So Pete must be a boulder. Or is he a pigeon? Or a squirrel? Or a cloud?

Join Pete in his quest to answer the world's oldest question: Why do I have to wear pants? Wait, that's the second oldest. Born from the one-of-a-kind imagination of Rowboat Watkins, this hilarious book (the asides just beg to be read aloud) about finding out who you are features a satisfying and touching ending that will encourage young readers to be true to themselves as it reminds the adults in their lives to support them no matter what.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This story seemed a little... thin. Even though it's about an elephant. The gimmick is Pete's (and the other animals') reasoning: he's grey and he's not wearing any pants, so he must be [insert funny object here]. That's amusing, but it doesn't really make for a plot. And the book almost seemed to need one. Pete was looking for a friend to play with, but he didn't have much luck (when the boulders won't respond and the other animals assume he's a boulder himself, well, he's kind of on his own). The "problem" was solved too easily by his own mother; while this is sweet, it doesn't really empower kids at all.

My favourite thing about this was the look of it. The pictures are kind of rustic and rough, but they're also whimsical and cute. I especially liked seeing Pete's bedroom with all the stuff hanging on his walls.

This could have been a really good children's book if the story had had a little more heft to it. As it is, it's more of a novelty, and I don't really have any desire to flip through it again (other than to maybe have another look at the pictures).

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.5 out of 5

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