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What Pete Ate from A-Z Paperback – 15 Sep 2003
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"Richly witty in both the text and the illustrations."
"Kalman's trademark bright, sophisticated cartoons burst out of the pages. Viewers move with the frantic pace of the tale. . . . The presentation and ideas are distinctly original and will trigger an imaginative response or awaken innovative thinking. Reading this book is a participatory experience par excellence."
"With deliciously vibrant colors, slightly skewed perspectives, and delectable humor, Kalman mixes and matches her exuberant canine gourmand, his latest snack, and annoyed or melancholy-looking adults."
"Kalman's brand of wacky humor never wavers, and her young fans will happily consume the alliterative mischief."
"Kalman unleashes her extravagant whimsy in this loquacious alphabet book. Her overblown alliteration and fabulous gouaches gush with glamour."
Richly witty in both the text and the illustrations. ("The New York Times Book Review")
Kalman unleashes her extravagant whimsy in this loquacious alphabet book. (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
About the Author
In her own words: "born. bucolic childhood. culture-stuffed adolescence. played piano. stopped. danced. stopped. wrote. discarded writing. drew. reinstated writing. married Tibor Kalman and collaborated at iconoclastic yet successful design studio. wrote and painted children's books. worried. took up Ping-Pong. relaxed. wrote and painted for many magazines. cofounded the Rubber Band Society. amused. children: two. dog: one."
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The style of drawing is what I would call sophisticated-immature. But the text is the key to all of this. A friend of ours has a dog named Scout. She regularly posts on Facebook something like "What Scout Ate Today" and describes him opening a cupboard in the kitchen, grabbing a bag of flour, dragging it to the bedroom and climbing on the bed, then merrily eating through the bag and chowing down on the flour while leaving a huge mess for our friend to find when she gets home from work.
This book's for Scout!
I picked this up at the library for my daughter. She did NOT want me to return it, but after I renewed it twice, I broke down and bought a copy. This is the ONLY book that I've ever had to do that for.
My four-year-old gets (most) of the quirky humor and has managed to memorize it. She delights in "reading" it to me, almost as much as I delight in hearing it.
I usually prefer photo-realistic drawings myself or very detailed, world-within-world stuff, but there's something about the primitivism (??) here that's eye-catching. There's a realism captured here that's not usually there in above-average-but-not-great illustration.
We love Pete and my daughter kisses the "real Pete" (last page) goodnight whenever she reads it. And we, too, forgive Pete his omnivorous ways.
So, we must all read Maira Kalman books and
appreciate the quirky, painterly, funtastical characters and stories to feed our imaginative souls.
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