Subscribe to The Horn Book

Pete the Cat in the Big Easy

I just spent a week in New Orleans, a place I’ve wanted to visit since first reading Interview with the Vampire as a teen. The week held plenty of sights and experiences I’d been highly anticipating (a ghost tour, the Garden District, blues and jazz clubs, and — of course — beignets) and some I hadn’t expected (Mardi Gras beads hanging in many trees; the informative but emotionally intense National WWII Museum, which Cindy also visited last year; lots and lots and lots of rain).

litwin_pete the cat i love my white shoesOne pleasant surprise during my trip to NOLA was an encounter with Pete the Cat, star of the series of picture books and early readers written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean. During a leisurely stroll in the French Quarter, I spotted Pete’s familiar face in the window of Gallery Rinard. My parents are huge Pete fans (and I’m an unrepentant cat lady), so I dragged my boyfriend into the gallery to take a look at Dean’s original art.

While the gallery offered lots of original canvases, prints, and even puppets of the cartoony Pete his picture-book readers will know and love, many of Dean’s paintings are geared towards adults in content and humor (such as this “Most Interesting Man in the World” Dos Equis commercial parody). A series of re-creations of well-known photos and paintings — including The Mona Lisa, Klimt’s The Kiss, and Munch’s The Scream — features cameos by Pete.

And much of Dean’s work portrays his feline friend in a softer, more realistic manner, revealing the artist’s deep affection for the real-life Pete. After quite a bit of deliberation, I eventually chose one of these as a souvenir for my parents:

dean _ pete the cat weather or not

“Pete the Cat: Weather or Not” by James Dean

Like Cindy encountering a Dahl book at the WWII Museum, I didn’t expect for my kidlit life to come out to play while I was on vacation — but I’m glad it did!

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

Share

Comments

  1. Hi Katie!

    I’ve read several of your reviews and they’re wonderful – and I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce you to my books and cast of characters, The Small Sports!

    Our second children’s book was just released, The Small Sports Go for the Goal! A story about overcoming failure, sportsmanship and friendship.

    I appreciate your time and would love for you to see our book trailer at:
    http://youtu.be/E0ZZ5hUlNOo?list=UUgt0kCUiB_FeU9K3FddD6jA

    I would be happy to send your an e-book or hardcopy version if you were interested in a doing a review. We would be thrilled if you were interested.

    Our website is:
    http://www.thesmallsports.com
    http://www.facebook.com/thesmallsports

    I hope to hear from you and thank you again for your time.

    Matt Damman
    The Small Sports
    matt@thesmallsports.com
    773-793-4225

  2. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks so much for your kind words! If you’d like to submit The Small Sports Go for the Goal! for possible review by The Horn Book, please take a look at our submissions guidelines and send it on over. We can’t review everything, but we will certainly take a look.

    Best wishes for you and your books!

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*