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Pete's a Pizza [Board book]
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About the Author

William Steig's drawings appeared regularly in The New Yorker since 1930. He also wrote and illustrated books for children, most recently his memoir, When Everybody Wore a Hat. His other books include Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, winner of the Caldecott Medal; The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books; Doctor De Soto Goes to Africa; Pete's A Pizza; and Zeke Pippin.

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Mr. Steig (The Toy Brother) introduces a game guaranteed to produce a good mood. On a rainy day, title character Pete flops down on the couch in an attitude of despair. His father notices, and "he thinks it might cheer Pete up to be made into a pizza." Pete allows himself to be carried into the kitchen, where he is kneaded and tossed like dough. "Next, some oil is generously applied. (It's really water.)... And then some tomatoes. (They're really checkers.)" Pizza-Pete bakes on the couch, (a.k.a. the pizza oven), but when it's time to cut slices (with a karate-chop gesture), "the pizza runs away and the pizza-maker chases him." Steig evidently has played pizza before. He substitutes talcum powder for flour and paper scraps for mozzarella; he notes that pizzas struggle when tickled. The text resembles a set of directions, with each step wryly presented as a concise sentence and plainly printed in sans serif capital letters. In keeping with his story's simplicity, Steig creates compact line drawings that are detailed with wild watercolor patterns but symmetrically placed in a spacious white background. The amiable quality of Steig's easy pizza recipe will amuse chef and entrée alike. All ages. (Oct.)

PreS-Gr 3-When Pete is in an especially bad mood because it is raining and he can't play ball with his friends, his father decides that it might cheer his son up "to be made into a pizza." The boy is placed on the kitchen table where he is kneaded, tossed, and covered with various toppings including oil (water), tomatoes (checkers), and cheese (pieces of paper). His mother comments that she doesn't like tomatoes, eliciting some giggles from Pete. He is then placed in the oven (the couch) and eventually returned to the table to be sliced. At this juncture, he runs away and is pursued by his father who captures and hugs him. By now the sun is shining and Pete goes outside to look for his friends. The interplay between father and son is both entertaining and endearing. The man says, after tickling Pete, "Pizzas are not supposed to laugh!" and Pete responds, "Pizza-makers are not supposed to tickle their pizzas!" Steig's spare line drawings and zany watercolor paintings are centered against a large white background. The wry text is printed in all capital letters, making it look almost like a recipe. From its tongue-tantalizing title to its understated but delightful ending, Pete's a Pizza is a tour de force.-Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI

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