'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Review: I Saw Pete and Pete Saw Me

Kids live in a world that is their own. I love the world in which they live. It is real and raw and honest.

Children see things adults don’t. They call out things for what they are. They are generally unaware of society’s hang-ups, stereotypes and judgements.

This is a book that steps into a child’s world.

In I saw Pete and Pete Saw Me, a young boy says hello to a homeless man on the street. Other people walk by without saying a word, without offering a smile, but the boy says hello, and Pete draws him a bird on the pavement.

The boy and Pete connect. They form a friendship. But when Pete gets sick and has to go away, no one knows how to find him to check if he’s okay. Other special people in Pete’s world try — the coffee lady and the butcher — but no one knows how to contact Pete…

Until the boy leaves a special message for Pete on the wall.

This is a love-filled picture book. Maggie Hutchings has created a beautiful and sensitive story that provides opportunity for discussion and questioning, but the message isn’t pushy, which I love.

At its core, this is a story about a beautiful friendship that blossoms out of caring and empathy. It’s about truly leaving judgement behind and really seeing people for the human souls they are.

Evie Barrow’s illustrations are beautifully gentle and heartfelt. Look at the expressions of each character and you’ll see emotion radiating from the page. You’ll see feelings and history and personality. They’ll make you think and feel.

I’ve never read a picture book like this before. It opens a door to a world that many of us do not know and understand, and it builds the steps in a bridge of understanding that can connect us to change if we are open to the possibility.

A beautiful picture book for kids aged three to six that will open their eyes and hearts to the world around them.

For more amazing picture books by Maggie Hutchings, make sure you check out Your Birthday was the Best and Unicorn!. She is a true picture book talent. Check out Bronte: Me and My Boots and Horatio Squeak for more Evie Barrow beauties. Her illustrations are picture book perfection.

Title: I Saw Pete and Pete Saw Me
Author: Maggie Hutchings
Illustrator: Evie Barrow
Publisher: Affirm Press, $24.99 
Publication Date: 28 July 2020
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781925972825
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Book