Pete the Cat

Ages: 0 - 5Manufacturer: Amazon Studios

Parents with an appreciation for Hipster culture will like Pete the Cat, a half-hour animated program based on the children’s book series. Its tone is laid-back and the art direction relies on soft shades with subtle bright touches, lending it its “cool cat” vibe. It offers two separate stories per episode, featuring lessons learned by Pete, a blue cat of few words and deep thoughts.

Like all young kids, Pete copes with the usual stuff of life at school and home. In “Too Cool for School,” he anguishes over choosing a “cool” outfit for Picture Day but gets conflicting, and comical, advice from his friends. In “Pete at the Beach,” Pete’s brother is set to give him a surfing lesson but his family has to help him deal with second thoughts.

And, in “Three Bite Rule,” Pete whips up a banana casserole but Grumpy won’t even try it. A new song emerges, urging folks to try things before deciding if they like them or not — a song parents of picky eaters may put on repeat.

Parents of a certain age will appreciate the fact that singer/songwriter Elvis Costello provides the voice talent for Pete’s dad. Clever, understated scripts and the occasional blues or rock songs reinforce themes related to social and emotional development. Pete the Cat may not be every kid’s cup of tea, but for those who click with the laid-back vibe and subtle humor, it’s sure to strike a tuneful and positive chord.

Gina Catanzarite ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster’s Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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