Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? Pete is a badger who lives to clean and tidy and make everything neat. “He tidied the flowers by checking each patch, and snipping off any that didn’t quite match…He tidied the birds, from the big to the small, by brushing their backs and then bathing them all.” Gravett’s signature illustrations rendered in pencil, watercolor and wax crayon are full of charm and humor in the lush colors of the forest. The rhyming text flows wonderfully. When autumn comes, Pete works on bagging up all the fallen leaves into a mountain of gray trash bags. Pete then takes things too far when he decides the bare trees now look untidy and so uproots them all. This causes a flood and mud, which leads to Pete cementing over the forest. “No mud/no leaves/no mess/no trees. Perfectly tidy and perfectly neat. ‘This forest is practically perfect,’ said Pete.” But Pete soon realizes that the cement is covering the entrance to his home. With the help of the other forest animals, Pete restores the forest to its natural and sometimes untidy state. This is a story that touches on the theme of environmentalism as well as a lesson on moderation.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a book that fans of Emily Gravett will greatly enjoy. It would also be a nice addition to units on environmentalism and habitats.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 7/2/17