Pete with No Pants

Rowboat Watkins. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-4401-6
Having established that he’s big, gray, and not wearing any pants, a young elephant hits on the obvious conclusion: “I’m a boulder.” The elephant’s—er, boulder’s—enthusiasm wanes when he discovers that boulders aren’t any good at responding to knock-knock jokes. (His mother is likewise less than thrilled to find her offspring racing around the forest without his overalls on.) Watkins follows the brash absurdity of Rude Cakes with a quieter, though still quirky, offering. The elephant’s loneliness hangs like a cloud over the story—and clouds are yet another identity the elephant tries on, given that he’s gray, puffy, “and... nope. Clouds never wear pants.” The elephant’s internal monologue and external outbursts move the story forward, and commentary from acorn-juggling squirrels and perplexed owls adds comic relief. “Whooo knewww clouds could walk?” wonders one owl as the elephant sobs after the bird it was playing with flies away. Washes of muted color and careful pencil detailing capture the swings of the elephant’s emotions, and although he doesn’t have much luck on the friend front, his mother’s softening attitude toward pants-free fun suggests brighter days ahead. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2017
Release date: 05/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 40 pages - 978-1-4521-5225-7
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