Pete & Pickles

( 12 )

Overview

Pete is a perfectly predictable, practical, uncomplicated pig. At least, he was . . . before a runaway circus elephant named Pickles stampeded into his life, needing a friend. Pickles is larger than life and overflowing with imagination. She takes Pete swandiving off Niagara Falls. (Sort of.) And sledding down the Matterhorn. (Sort of.) Pete goes along for the wild ride and actually begins to enjoy himself . . . until Pickles goes too far. And ...

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Overview

Pete is a perfectly predictable, practical, uncomplicated pig. At least, he was . . . before a runaway circus elephant named Pickles stampeded into his life, needing a friend. Pickles is larger than life and overflowing with imagination. She takes Pete swandiving off Niagara Falls. (Sort of.) And sledding down the Matterhorn. (Sort of.) Pete goes along for the wild ride and actually begins to enjoy himself . . . until Pickles goes too far. And Pete tells her she must leave.

Yet sometimes the simple life isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed offers two new irresistible characters and a heartfelt, hilarious look at the rarity of true friendship.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A pig named Pete leads a perfectly predictable and sensible existence until Pickles, the runaway circus elephant, turns it upside-down. Pickles possesses the joie de vivre of Auntie Mame (and the extensive wardrobe to carry it off with élan). She takes Pete swan-diving off Niagara Falls and sledding down the Matterhorn: that both of these activities unfold in places that are a far cry from the actual locales doesn't make them any less exciting to the increasingly game Pete. Breathed (Mars Needs Moms!) writes in that giddy blend of skepticism and romanticism that have made his Pulitzer Prize-winning Bloom County comic strip a must-read-he creates not just a series of funny/tender vignettes but an emotional rollercoaster of a story, complete with a gripping life-or-death climax. Yet it's the digital artwork that's the real grabber. With nods to Hokusai and Hopper, Magritte and film noir, Breathed achieves a dreamy intensity, a sculptural heft that makes these images his most evocative and expansive to date. Ages 3-5. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
This is the tale of an odd but beautiful friendship. Pete, a "perfectly practical pig," finds himself rescuing a charming elephant named Pickles from chains in the circus. Although at first he thinks this is a mistake, he is soon joining her in delightfully imaginative activities, but when Pickles begins to go a bit too far, Pete tells her to leave. Pickles fall into the bathtub, breaking a water pipe, and the house fills with water. Pete just manages to get his snout above water with Pickles holding him up by her trunk. Realizing then how much she means to him, Pete bends down through the long night to share his breath with her. After rescue and a rest, they awake to "pick blueberries on the Dandelion Moons of Pluto," sharing a joyous life together again. Illustrations in various sizes created with "virtual acrylics and virtual watercolor" tell this visual fairytale of an anthropomorphic duo with affection and comic emotion. Pickles beams proudly while staring into a mirror, dressed in a far-too-small pink outfit. Pete stares sleeplessly out of a window as Pickles snores away. Many pleasurable details call for repeated attention. Framed reproductions of famous pictures hang on the walls. There is a madcap scene of sheep dancing as Pickles as "para-cow" descends from the sky. Breathed's sculpturesque style adds naturalistic conviction to the deftly told story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

Pete is a predictable and practical pig. One stormy night, his world is turned upside down when he encounters Pickles, an elephant on the lam from the circus, in his room. Pickles is anything but predictable, yet Pete finds himself drawn to her, and the two become unlikely friends. The relationship hits a snag when Pickles treads too far, and Pete makes a decision that ends up endangering both of their lives. This heartwarming tale is packed with adventure, imagination, and the all-important message of accepting differences. The illustrations alternate from naturalistic renderings of fantastical scenarios to flat compositions reminiscent of traditional comic strips. In the former, Pete and Pickles seem to pop off the page in the lush landscapes, and it is in these pages that the story soars. Less-discerning readers may miss plot points expressed in the drawings but not in the text. Great for sharing one-on-one or for reading aloud.-Beth Cuddy, Seward Elementary School, Auburn, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Out the window goes Pete the pig's perfectly predictable routine one stormy night when Pickles, a free-spirited fugitive circus elephant, comes crashing in. As chronicled in Breathed's customarily full-featured digital paintings, which mix his trademark cartoon look with softer edges from image to image, their relationship goes through its ups and downs-both figuratively and, as Pickles has a predilection for taking wild leaps and dives, literally-until a flood puts the two in deadly danger and they save each other's lives. Both adventures and illustrations flirt with the surreal; Pickles's escapades involve wildly imaginary journeys, and the two friends find themselves moving in and out of the paintings (a Hokusai wave, Homer's Night Hawks) hung on Pete's walls. Hardly a month goes by without at least one new illustrated tale about mismatched companions, but like (for instance) Christa Kempter's Wally and Mae (9/08), this clash of personalities is enhanced in the art by an extreme size differential, and the result is a comically silly, warmly affirmative package. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399250828
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/16/2008
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 113,897
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.26 (w) x 10.16 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Berkeley Breathed lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Perfect Odd Couple

    A practical pig and a whimsical elephant make a highly endearing pair of friends. I read this book in the children's section and laughed almost until I cried. There is conflict and conflict resolution and a rather sophisticated portrayal of a sweet, sweet relationship. I may buy several copies to give to my best friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    I read this book to my sweetheart (we are in our 50's, he lost h

    I read this book to my sweetheart (we are in our 50's, he lost his wife of 30 years last year to cancer) and used it as the springboard to tell him I love you for the first time..charming tale told by a talented writer and illustrator!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 25, 2011

    Wonderful story!

    In my profession I'm always looking for books that give a good message and Berkeley Breathed does just that. It teaches kids the meaning of friendship and love and about trying new things. It is wonderful and I enjoyed it probably more than the kids. I checked this out at the library and knew I had to add it to my collection!

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  • Posted October 5, 2009

    Too Cute!

    All three of my kids LOVE this story! It is an easy read/re-read book! I usually get sick of reading the same book at bedtime, but we all love this book!

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  • Posted June 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Wonderful read- great story on humanity and change

    I read this book to my son(4) not knowing what to expect. To me, it was a story about friendship and that sometimes, we need to move out of our comfort zone and appreciate all that life has to offer. Pickles intrudes into Pete's world and while Pete thought he was a happy pig before he met Pickles, he learns to love the complications that Pickles brings into his life. It is such a beautiful love story and my son loved the illustrations and silliness of it all. I also loved that it touched upon the sad and lonely life of an elephant in the circus. These sentient creatures all have bigger dreams than being chained up. I recommend this book highly and I think it makes a wonderful gift.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant and touching.

    The rare sort of children's story which may be more enjoyed by the adult than the child, Pete & Pickles is a wonderful blend of the zany and the subtle, which is a signature of Berkeley Breathed.

    It does touch on some delicate subjects, like loss of loved ones, so the parent should be aware that there might be some discussion after the reading. Nevertheless, it is quite an exceptional book and I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great book for adults as well as children.

    I bought this book for a 4 year old, not remembering that 4 year olds dont know how to read! But boy does she love the pictures! The story is funny,suspensful,strange and sweet. How can the frienship between an elephant and pig be anything other then sweet? So funny! The characters reminded me the relationship between my mutt dog and mutant siamese kitty, who became inseperable after only a few days of meeting...they are sort of like the Pig and Elephant but with lots of fur. The fact that it's Berkeley's own daughter's drawing of the pig giving flowers to a sad elephant, that inspires him -is inspirational itself!
    It would be a good reminder for those adults out there to remember that "correcting" a childs point of view when expressing so much imagination(which is a kind of forsight)- is truly wrong to do...having been told myself while in grade school that elephants are not purple and blue, birds do not have 4 legs and people do not fish for whales with a fishing rod to put them in their swimming pool!I still remember all those teachers who "corrected" my stories and colorings to this day and I dont remember them in a good or "correct" way!
    Go Berkeley and Brood!!

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I love this book.

    My son (5) and I have been reading this book every night. It is the perfect length--a good meaty story. My boy loves the pig and the elephant, and I am tickled by the unusual love story. It's a great read, good illustrations, well-written. Anyone who was a Bloom County and Opus fan back in the day, will enjoy sharing this book with their little ones.

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  • Posted December 16, 2008

    Hilarious!

    My son of 5 yrs old and I have read this book 4 times in 3 days of getting the book. We absolutely love this book. We enjoy every page and laugh at all the funny and silly things we notice every time we read the book together. We have been noticing something different that's just as funny as the last time we read it and love it!!!! Thank you for such a great book!

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    Posted September 22, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

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