Pete with No Pants by Rowboat Watkins

Pete with No Pants by Rowboat Watkins

Pete with No Pants by Rowboat Watkins (9781452144016, Amazon)

Pete is a little elephant who prefers not to wear pants. He likes to pretend to be other things that are also gray and also don’t wear pants. Maybe he’s a boulder? But the boulders don’t like his knock-knock jokes and never respond. Maybe he’s a squirrel? But he manages to scare the squirrels away. A pigeon? A cloud? Or maybe, he’s exactly who he knows he is, a little one who doesn’t want to wear clothes.

I love that there is a moral here, but it’s for the parents not the kids. That is to let your little one be who they truly are. The ending has the mother elephant who is dressed quite conservatively and has been watching with a worried expression finally just accepting Pete for who he is. The writing is mostly done in asides spoken by Pete and the other animals. It’s wry and great fun, just right for reading aloud.

Watkins’ illustrations have a great softness to them, colors that are subtle and smear on the page. The background isn’t a pure white but a soft textured gray. The pages move from full double-page spreads to smaller comic-book framing that plays in tune with the speech bubbles on the pages. Don’t miss the denim end pages too, and notice the difference between the front and back ones.

A joyous call to support our children, whoever they are. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins and Tumbls

Here are some cool links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week:


100 must-read middle grade books for the summer ahead:

Books on Film: The New York Times Illustrator Video Motherlode

CBC Launches Reading Beyond List

Chris Colfer, Shawn Levy Tackling ‘The Land of Stories’ Movie for Fox |

Does Reading for Pleasure in Schools Really Make a Difference? via

Exclusive Book Trailer Premiere: THE WOLF, THE DUCK, & THE MOUSE by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Jacqueline Woodson Honored by Lambda Literary –

A Little Happier: Sometimes, Flawed Can Be More Perfect Than Perfection.

Ten fabulously illustrated books for young readers that adults will enjoy just as much

Why Young People Need Diverse Books


Bookmobile for a Day | Programs That Pop

Cows visit Baraboo library, help kick off summer reading program

U. Chicago Undergrad Library Workers Unionize

An underground library one for you perhaps

Vintage Photos of Traveling Libraries


Danielle Macdonald Joins The Dumplin Movie Cast Along With Jennifer Aniston

Summer 2017 YA Paperbacks