Ah, felines. The Humane Society of the United States says that over 33 percent of households have a pet cat, and over half of those have more than one cat. That means there is a whopping, mewling, purring 86.4 million “putty tats” with happy homes out there.
I’m admittedly a person with a bit of a slight “cat lady” issue (I’ve rescued five strays in the past few years: Snickers, Princess, Kyoshi, Jordan, and Snowflake, and found new homes for three of them).
Therefore, when I heard about James Dean, and his “Pete the Cat” book series based on a little black kitten he liberated from one of those animal shelter cages, I knew I had to peek at it.
Using Pete as inspiration, Dean created and illustrated the cat, while Eric Litwin wrote up the story.
Litwin is a New York Times bestselling author, and gives music performances for kids nationwide.
Dean is an artist who followed his heart and left the tiresome world of engineering to pursue his passion for art full-time, with his new friend Pete usually at his side and sometimes lapping from his coffee cup.
Like his creator, in “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” we learn this kitty is a laid back, chill kind of cat and doesn’t let inconsequential things like a few missing buttons phase him.
The book is a bright, colorful story with a hippie-style simple message…life is good, so relax and enjoy it, even if you do lose a few buttons.
Even though Pete loved his favorite shirt and its four groovy buttons, after losing them one by one, Pete’s attitude stays positive.
Perhaps it is due to being rescued from that cage, or maybe it comes from his carefree personality. Either way, Pete may lose his groovy buttons, but he gains (and little readers along with him) some primer math concepts, a look at a relaxed way of approaching life’s scrapes and a newfound appreciation for his most groovy button, the one on his belly.