Prather’s Pick: Teaching kids about making mistakes
I guess it is just the “teacher” in me, but I enjoy children’s books that are not only entertaining but that teach a lesson as well. This week’s book is an example. “Pete the Cat: Crayons Rock,” written and illustrated by Kimberly and James Dean, is all about making mistakes. This is a brand new (2020) picture book.
Pete the Cat has been around, in picture books, for awhile. He is a lovable all-black cat with big yellow-orange eyes and a white nose. In this week’s book, Pete is drawing all sorts of things with his groovy crayons. The crayons have clever names, such as “Rockin’ Red, “Groovy Green, and “Cool Cat Blue.”
The story is told all in rhyme, which makes it all that more delightful for young readers.
“From rockin’ red to cool cat blue, with a box of crayons, there’s nothing Pete can’t do.”
Sure enough, Pete uses his crayons to draw a pickup truck, a car, a ladybug, and a sailboat on the big blue sea. Then he decides to draw pictures of his friends, too. First, he draws a picture of
Grumpy Toad. In the picture, the toad has a big smile, great big eyes, and wears spectacles—just the way Grumpy Toad looks in real life. Pete is excited to present the picture to his friend, but when he does, he gets a surprise. Toad thinks the colors are way too bright. Pete is disappointed at Grumpy Toad’s reaction. His ears droop a little bit, but Pete thinks what Grumpy Toad said is all right.
Surely, Gus, his next friend, will think his picture is “dynamite.” Gus is a duck, I think, because he has a duck bill and webbed feet, but he also has a fuzzy-looking tail. Anyway, Gus isn’t so crazy about his picture either. He doesn’t think it looks exactly like him. Pete takes it all in stride, but when Callie, the third friend, thinks something is missing from her picture, Pete really starts to frown. Pete starts to think his drawings aren’t the best. He even puts his crayons down.
The next day during art class at school, Pete’s three friends make super drawings, but Pete doesn’t draw anything. He’s afraid of making a mistake.
Then the teacher and Pete’s friends have something to say about being unique, and the reader has a chance to think about what it means to make a mistake.
Young readers love Pete the Cat, and this week’s book has a wonderful message for them.
“Pete the Cat: Crayons Rock” is published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers and costs $18/99 in hardcover. You can also find the book at the Craig Moffat County Library.
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