Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly Dean and James Dean

Source: Purchased
Hardcover, 48 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly and James Dean as you might have guessed is a reworked version of the “12 Days of Christmas” song. In Pete’s version, his groovy gift giving begins with the grand road trip to the sea. The text in this song is fun and easy to read for young readers, though I’m not sure what is supposed to be “groovy” about it, unless you find fuzzy gloves and cupcakes groovy.  For kids, this may be the case. Or perhaps it was the use of “far-out” to describe surfboards.

The pictures are what I come to expect from these books with basic designs and colors, animals and shapes to attract children to the page. Many of the animal characters from the previous book make an appearance in this one, and kids will like seeing them in action with their gifts. As the song is really about the extravagance of gift giving, it is kind of appropriate that some of the gifts Pete gives are a bit weird, like sloths. However, I’m not sure that kids will pick up on those nuances as much as adults will, and that should prompt a conversation about Christmas and what it means (i.e. not about getting gifts). The last page of the book should help with that since the friends are all at the beach enjoying their company. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating for any preaching here in Pete the Cat.

Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly and James Dean is a fun rendition of a classic carol that will have younger readers singing along with different lyrics if they already know  the song. In our case, it was mom why are you saying the lines like that and I had to explain there was a song with different lyrics.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Author and Illustrator:

James Dean’s art has sold in more than ninety galleries and shops across the United States. He has devoted his paintings to Pete the Cat for ten years and has turned his natural love for cats into his life’s work. James published his first adult book, The Misadventures of Pete the Cat, a history of his art work, in 2006. He illustrated his first self-published children’s book, Pete the Cat I Love my White Shoes, written by Eric Litwin, in 2008, and the follow-up book, Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes, in 2011. James lives in Savannah, Georgia with his wife, Kimberly.

In 2004, Kimberly & James Dean sat down at their kitchen table to work on a children’s book together. Their dream has finally become a reality with the release of this new Pete the Cat book, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses. Both left corporate jobs in the late nineties (James was an electrical engineer, Kimberly worked in the press office of the governor of Georgia) to pursue their passion for art, and they have experienced a life made up of strange and wonderful coincidences ever since. Pete the Cat has brought magic into their lives. They work in side-by-side studios, sharing their home with five cats and Emma the pug.

Mailbox Monday #507

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what my daughter received in the last two months from her Scholastic book fair and order form:

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots.
He eats them on the way to school.
He eats them going to Little League.
He eats them walking home.
Until the day the carrots start following him…or are they?
Celebrated artist Peter Brown’s stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold’s text in this hilarious picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.

Dogman: Lord of the Fleas by Dave Pilkey

When a new bunch of baddies bust up the town, Dog Man is called into action — and this time he isn’t alone. With a cute kitten and a remarkable robot by his side, our heroes must save the day by joining forces with an unlikely ally: Petey, the World’s Most Evil Cat. But can the villainous Petey avoid vengeance and venture into virtue?

Money Math: Addition and Subtraction by David Adler, illustrated by Edward Miller

Trusted team David A. Adler and Edward Miller continue their series of popular math books. Amusing cartoon versions of American presidents guide children through this lively introduction to currency values and adding and subtracting money. Topics covered include an introduction to American units of money; the many ways these units combine to make a price; basic money symbols such as the dollar and cent signs; and the math inherent in shopping. After reading this, kids will be confident with their pocket change! A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Kitty’s Magic 4: Star the Little Farm Cat by Ella Moonheart

Kitty has always thought she was allergic to cats, but during a midnight sneezing fit at a sleepover, she learns that the truth is far more magical–Kitty is able to turn into a cat! She eagerly takes her place as the Guardian of the local cats’ Cat Council, using her human knowledge to help them solve their feline problems.

Kitty is going to her cousin’s farm for the weekend! There are lots of animals to meet, including Daisy, an adorable black and white puppy, and Star, the old farmhouse cat. Star’s job is to chase mice away from the strawberry harvest–but it’s become hard now that he’s older. Daisy wants to help, but cats and dogs can’t be friends . . . can they? Will Kitty be able to solve her toughest problem yet–without the help of the Cat Council?

The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk

Oh hey, guess what? The Sun never stops working to keep things on Earth running smoothly. (That’s why it’s been Employee of the Month for 4.5 billion years.) So why does the Sun get to be the center of attention? Because it’s our solar system’s very own star!

This funny and factual picture book from Awkward Yeti creator Nick Seluk explains every part of the Sun’s big job: keeping our solar system together, giving Earth day and night, keeping us warm, and more. In fact, the Sun does so much for us that we wouldn’t be alive without it. That’s kind of a big deal.

Each spread features bite-sized text and comic-style art with sidebars sprinkled throughout. Anthropomorphized planets (and Pluto) chime in with commentary as readers learn about the Sun. For instance, Mars found someone’s rover. Earth wants the Sun to do more stuff for it. And Jupiter just wants the Sun’s autograph. Funny, smart, and accessible, The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal is a must-have!

Dork Diaries 1-6 by Rachel Renée Russell

Let your inner dork shine bright with these six—count ’em, six!—bestselling Dork Diary books, now together in one dorktastic boxed set.

Join Nikki Maxwell as she navigates the halls of middle school, mean girls, BFF drama and first crushes in this collectible boxed set that includes books one through six in the wildly popular New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Dork Diaries series!

This boxed set includes:
Dork Diaries #1: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life
Dork Diaries #2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl
Dork Diaries #3: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star
Dork Diaries #4: Tales From a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess
Dork Diaries #5: Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All
Dork Diaries #6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker

101 School Jokes by Lisa Eisenberg , Katy Hall

Jokes poke fun at aspects of school life such as teachers, homework, lunch, and report cards.



Spy 101: Codes and Ciphers by Kris Hirschmann

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Princess Magnolia is excited. Excited and nervous. She’s going to the Interkingdom Science Fair today to present her poster about seeds and plants, and when she arrives, she sees that her friends are there too! Princess Honeysuckle made a mole habitat, Princess Sneezewort has built a blanket fort, and Tommy Wigtower has a talking volcano that’s saying “EAAAAT!” Wait, what? A surprise goo monster makes this a job for the Princess in Black, and the Princess in Blankets is on the scene to lend a hand. But will two masked heroes be enough to save the science fair? A little scientific problem-solving — and a lot of princess power — will make the sixth entry in the New York Timesbest-selling series a smash hit.

How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

After waiting for days and days and days, it’s finally Christmas Eve. And that’s when you can try to catch Santa. . . .

From Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish, creators of the bestselling HOW TO… series, comes a delightful new offering, written again in a hilarious instructional style. Two sibling narrators give clever tips for “catching” Santa (be crafty! be clever! be gentle!) on Christmas Eve. Filled with humor and holiday warmth, this is a jolly read-aloud for the whole family to enjoy!

The Christmas SElfie Contest by Rosie Greening and Clare Fennell

Santa is holding a Christmas selfie competition, and one particular elf is determined to win! But what will he do when things don’t go to plan?

Shimmer and Shine: Kitchen Magic

All throughout the genie world, there are delicious dishes to make and eat—and Shimmer, Shine, and Leah are ready to try them all! From Rainbow Pizza and Sparkle Cakes to Beautiful Noodles and Bela Beach Coolers, there are tons of tastes to explore.
Shimmer, Shine, and Leah’s magical morning begins with a healthy best friends’ brunch, including Egg Cups Divine, Pretty Pet Portraits on toast, a Brrr-eakfast Sundae (a healthy smoothie), and Pizza Pancakes. Then the girls hop on their magical carpet to discover the many tastes of Zahramay Falls: They drink a Bela Beach Cooler, and then taste Zahramay Zucchini Fries and Cheesy Noodle Flowers (made with lasagna noodles) at the Genie Market. They have Gooey Gummy Genie Jelly (fruit juice gummies) as a snack on their way to the Azar Bazaar in Rainbow Zahramay, where they taste Fruit Stripe Delight, Beautiful Noodles (which change color right before your eyes!), and Rainbow Pizza. They join Princess Samira for a tea party, complete with Teenie Tea Sandwiches, Sparkle Cakes, and Cinnamon Tea. The day ends with a super sleepover, where they make Genie Bling Apple Rings for a snack, Fish Stick Tacos for dinner, and Cutie Pies for dessert.

Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly and James Dean

Pete and his friends are rockin’ and groovin’ while counting down the days to Christmas! Who needs five golden rings, when you can have five onion rings?

Join Pete and the gang for one-of-a-kind holiday cheer. He adds a cool-cat spin on a well-known Christmas carol, bringing a hip and energetic spirit to the season.

What did you receive?

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James Dean and Kimberly Dean

Source: Purchased
Hardcover, 40 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James Dean and Kimberly Dean is another book my daughter picked out as a reward from reading this past month. She’s really been a trooper even when she’s frustrated with reading or not concentrated. Pete the Cat is a character that always makes her smile and whose books are easier for her to read in between those more challenging books the school gives her each week.

In this book, Pete loves to dance but Grumpy Toad tells him that he’s not dancing correctly. Pete goes on a journey to learn how to dance the Cool Cat Boogie, even though all the advice he receives are about different types of dances. Pete feels happy when he’s dancing and he wants to learn this dance no matter what. My daughter had a great time reading this one on her own to me.

My one quibble with this book is Pete’s reaction when his friends say “ouch,” and he’s accidentally bumped them or stepped on their toes while dancing. Rather than apologizing, he merely walks away dejected. These are not moments that Pete should walk away from. He should say he’s sorry. If his friends had said that he did the moves wrong or made fun of him, I could see him walking away and not engaging in an argument. This was not the case in these situations.

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James Dean and Kimberly Dean even includes a step-by-step guide on how to do the Cool Cat Boogie, which will have kids getting out of their seats and onto the dance floor. It’s good to see my daughter reading on her own, even if the book is a bit simpler than the ones that challenge her from school. At least she’s continuously reading.

RATING: Quatrain

Mailbox Monday #505

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Being Mrs. Bennet by Alexa Adams for review.

Can fandom go too far?

Alison Bateman adores Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice. Within the book’s pages she finds escape from everyday strife, that is until she becomes one of its characters. Instead of the beloved heroine of the novel, Alison transforms into her silly and ineffectual mother, Mrs. Bennet. Not one to be idle, she uses her new role to try and curb the unruly behavior of the youngest Bennet daughter, never suspecting the consequences her meddling will have on the romance at the heart of the novel. A story of survival in a fictional universe, Being Mrs. Bennet is a lighthearted take on Austen’s classic tale.

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean and Kimberly Dean, which we purchased. My review.

Pete the Cat and his friends are busy as can be baking cupcakes for a party, and Pete can’t wait to perform with his groovy band. But some of the cupcakes have gone missing! Who could have taken them?

In this hardcover picture book adventure by New York Times bestselling authors James and Kimberly Dean, Pete and the gang solve the mystery of the missing cupcakes and learn that it’s cool to be kind.

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James Dean and Kimberly Dean, which we purchased.

Join Pete the Cat in a brand-new story from New York Times bestselling author-illustrator team James and Kimberly Dean! Pete is learning a new dance—the Cool Cat Boogie! When he hears a groovy beat, he’s full of happy in his feet. But when Grumpy Toad tells him, “Pete, you dance all wrong!” Pete is determined to become a better dancer. With the help of his friends and some wise words from Owl, Pete learns that he’s his grooviest when he’s being himself. Includes step-by-step dance moves so readers can dance along with Pete!

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex, which we purchased.

It’s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest.

A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again.

Parkland Speaks edited by Sarah Lerner for review in January/February 2019.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. This revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope.

The intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love.

Passion Planner, which Ti at Book Chatter has recommended a number of times (similar to the one from Amazon, but better since mine is dated). I got the atrium red.

I’ve tried Bullet Journaling for the last couple of years, but this last year was an epic fail. I just don’t have the time to sit with it and set it up from scratch. I’m hoping this planner is a winner.

What did you receive?

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean

Source: Purchased
Hardcover, 40 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean and Kimberly Dean was a reward for my daughter’s efforts in reading the month. After an early start of fighting over reading every night, she’s more willing to read to me, rather than me to her. This is one of the book series she’s found holds her attention. Part of it is because she wants a cat, which we can’t have because one of our dogs would eat it, and the other part is that Pete is just a cute and funny character who finds himself in trouble. Kids like mischief.

In this book, Pete and Gus are looking for a culprit — the one who took the cupcakes. It reminded me of Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar. My daughter easily read this one on her own, which was a good experience for me as I’ve been worried that she’s falling behind and is less confident in her reading skills than she was last year.

The illustrations here reminded me of drawings that kids would create on their own if asked to draw cupcakes, cats and other animals, which probably appeals to kids’ sensibilities. The colors are bright throughout and this was definitely an easier read that could instill confidence in young readers still learning. It also has a familiar trope about forgiveness when mistakes are made. Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean and Kimberly Dean was satisfactory for me, but my daughter was happy to read the book on her own, which makes it a winner.

RATING: Quatrain


Mailbox Monday #408

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

What I purchased:

Darcy’s Christmas Wish by Penelope Swan

Fitzwilliam Darcy never forgot the little girl, with the beautiful dark eyes, who saved his life fifteen years ago… though he never expected to meet her again. But when he comes to Rosings Park to spend the Advent season with his aunt and encounters the enchanting, spirited Miss Elizabeth Bennet again, he discovers that at Christmastime, wishes can come true…

Mr. Darcy Loves Elizabeth Bennet: 4 Variations of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice by Elizabeth Ann West, Barbara Silkstone, Kristi Rose, and April Floyd

Join authors Elizabeth Ann West, Barbara Silkstone, Kristi Rose, and April Floyd as they each share an exclusive short novella reimagining our dear couple falling in love! We all know Mr. Darcy loves Elizabeth Bennet, but the question universally wondered is how many ways can they show that love? Two Regencies, Two Contemporaries, there is a perfect story for every Jane Austen Fan Fiction lover!

Here’s what my daughter received for Christmas:

Pete the Cat: Sir Pete the Brave by James Dean from her friend

When Lady Callie, the most awesome harpist in all the land, goes missing, it’s up to Sir Pete to save her. But when he ends up trapped in a dragon’s lair, Lady Callie might have to do the saving.

It’s Raining Bats & Frogs by Rebecca Colby, illustrated by Steven Henry, from her friend

Delia has been looking forward all year to flying in the annual Halloween Parade. But parade day brings heavy rain. So, Delia takes action. Using her best magic, Delia changes the rain to cats and dogs. But that doesn’t work too well! Then hats and clogs. That doesn’t work, either! Each new type of rain brings a new set of problems. How can Delia save the day?

What did you receive?