Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Resilient Pete

My children have been a great excuse to indulge in my love for picture books. Whether it's the library or a bookstore (Woot woot! for the new B&N that opened near my house), browsing through the picture books is always great fun. You smile when you see a familiar title, or lovingly caress the covers of your favorites. *sigh* New favorite picture book character is Pete the Cat. I'm rather obsessed with him.

Pete’s been around for a while, and I was first introduced to him when my son was a baby. I had heard good things; however, the book we had been given (a retelling of twinkle twinkle little star) failed to impress.

Fast forward about two and a half years - now my baby boy is in pre-school (they grow so fast!), and he comes home with a new Pete the Cat book from his teachers. This one was titled Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. I began reading the story apprehensively that night at bedtime, but by the end of the book, my opinion of Pete did a 180 turn.

Instead of a bland retelling of a nursery rhyme, “I Love My White Shoes” was witty and fun, and surprisingly, all about resilience!

As an ISD, “resilience” is one of those trending words we hear about a lot. It’s right up there with “emotional intelligence” and “data analysis”. So, imagine my surprise to find it taught so perfectly and succinctly in a picture book!

“I Love My White Shoes” tells the story of Pete wearing his favorite pair of shoes and singing a song about them. The resilience comes in when Pete accidentally steps in a variety of things that change the color of his shoes, and instead of getting upset, he adjusts the words in his song. The art work, catchy phrases, cute little jingle, and entertaining repetition make this book very memorable. Like my son, I can't help calling out “goodness no” at key moments.

Jax opening new Pete the Cat books

If you haven’t read Pete the Cat, I highly recommend doing so. I’m already trying to find opportunities to work it into training at my job. Among my favorites in the Pete collection are: I Love My White Shoes, Four Groovy Buttons, and The Cool Cat Boogie.

You don’t have to be a child to read, enjoy, and learn from these books. When you encounter a tough situation, just remember Resilient Pete and his catchy saying, “Does Pete cry? Goodness no!”.