Review: Pete the Cat Scuba-Cat

The Basics

Title: Pete the Cat Scuba-Cat
Author: James Dean
ISBN: 9780062303899
Copyright Date: 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reader Brand: I Can Read!
Level: My First Shared Reading
Series: Pete the Cat (Pete’s Big Lunch, Play Ball!, Pete at the Beach, Too Cool for School, A Pet for Pete, Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana, Pete the Cat’s Train Trip, Scuba-Cat, Sir Pete the Brave (June 2016))


Pete the Cat is on the lookout for a seahorse in this underwater adventure. Pete keeps meeting new ocean friends, but can’t find the elusive seahorse. Will they ever meet?

I thought that this Pete the Cat reader was a solid addition to the series. I miss the magic of the first Pete the Cat picture books but I can’t deny that Pete’s flexibility and attitude is great for a beginning reader to adopt. And familiar friends are always a solid choice to start a reader transitioning from picture books.

This story is really an identification game for kids to name ocean animals as Pete swims past. The catch is that the seahorse is behind Pete the whole time and I think that kids will really respond to that. It’s almost like an “I Spy” game that Pete keeps losing but that kids will keep winning.

As Pete goes deeper into the ocean, I felt like the text got a bit hard to read against the deeper blues. Not a deal breaker by any means, but something to keep in mind. Other than that, the text length was appropriate and potentially new animal vocabulary was supported by the illustrations.

For Pete fans, cat fans, ocean fans, and early beginning readers.

Geisel 2013 Award & Honors

For more information about the Geisel Award, visit the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award homepage.

Winner: Up! Tall! And High! by Ethan Long

Nine birds explore what the words up, tall, and high mean in this basic concepts book for beginning readers. The book is broken into three sections/stories in which birds compete with one another.

This is an amazing young reader. With only 34 words, very young readers will be able to read this easily without a grown-up helping them. The books also includes lift-the-flaps which help illustrate the differences between tall/high/up/down. The text is nearly always in speeches bubbles with the exception of the title pages of each story and sound effects (sigh, poof, flap).

I really like that each section tells a complete story. Struggling readers can make it through one story and feel accomplished without being daunted by finishing the whole book in one sitting.


Honor: Let’s Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems

Piggie and Gerald have grand plans to go for a drive. They begin collecting all the things they will need for the drive, but they might be missing one crucial piece for a drive… Piggie and Gerald’s emotions will keep the readers involved until the end.

Honor: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin & James Dean

Pete the Cat is back in this third installment. This time Pete’s singing about his four buttons. But when they start to pop off, will Pete worry? Goodness, no! A great storytime read to teach counting and a great beginning reader.

Honor: Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell

A pair of friends have different expectations for their sleepover. Will they find a way to have fun together? An older beginning reader that’s perfect for more proficient readers.