In my post about books that make great graduation gifts, I mentioned that this book looked promising but I hadn’t had a chance to read it yet. Well, I can now say that I have read it, and definitely recommend it as a nice gift for children who might be “graduating” from Kinder or another primary grade. It might even appeal to older graduates; a friend of mine attested that she gave the book as a gift to an appreciative cat-loving niece graduating from college.
Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life (Tips from a Cool Cat for living an AWESOME LIFE) is written by Kimberly and James Dean. (I’m assuming not the James Dean.) The book includes many inspirational quotes in their original form with Pete the Cat’s interpretation on the facing page.
For example, Oscar Wilde’s quote, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken,” is translated by Pete as, “If you want to be cool, just be you.”
My favorite quote is from Mark Twain. “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”
Pete’s take on this? “Dude, don’t even think about it.”
I wouldn’t give this to a child to read on his or her own. It’s meant to be shared and discussed. Classroom teachers and parents can use the book to spark dialogues and new artistic interpretations. I would probably not let the child see Pete’s explanations for each quote until after discussing the original quote.
Another fun idea, if you are a teacher, would be to read the original quote to the class, have them restate it in their own words (and possibly illustrate it), and then compile them and compare to Pete’s statement.