Pete’s a Pizza is William Steig’s twenty-eighth children’s book. Steig, the author of Shrek! and the Caldecott winner for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, has a special gift for knowing just what will make children giggle.
Pete’s a Pizza is based on a game Steig used to play with his own daughter. The character in this book, Pete, is in an awful mood one rainy day. So, what is there to do but make him into a pizza? His parents try to entertain their bored child by making him into a pizza. This is a story that all parents can relate to and it will charm the imagination of children everywhere. How would you like to “be” a pizza?
This story tells how incredibly imaginative parents help make a rainy day go by with laughter for their son. Pretending he’s the main ingredient in a pizza, rolling him up in dough and sprinkling him with water and talcum powder (for the cheese ingredient), he is then placed on the sofa (to act as the oven) until he’s done. There is a lot of tickling the “pizza” along the way. It’s an incredibly loving, caring, and patient parent who can think up this game to entertain a child and make him smile.
The text and illustrations are designed to resemble a recipe for making pizza. Of course, the oven is on the couch and the mozzarella cheese is made
of paper, but the effect is hysterical. Pete is tossed and kneaded like real dough and is blanketed in a mass of toppings. When it comes time to cut the pizza, it jumps up and runs away! There is a heartwarming moment when Pete’s dad catches him. The banter between them is touching and heartfelt.
This is one of the very simplest but joyful picture books. Steig’s free style with words and art allow the reader to play, too. Moms and dads will love the idea of playing pizza, a game children will ask for over and over. And if they (or you) didn’t get it the first time, go back and reread the title with children. They’ll chuckle when they get the meaning.