I Saw Pete and Pete Saw Me, written by Maggie Hutchings, illustrated by Evie Barrow
I am a firm believer that picture books are not just for preschoolers, and can in fact be read and enjoyed, and utilised as a learning tool, by kids of all ages - right through to high school and beyond!
I Saw Pete and Pete Saw Me is one such example of a picture book that can be read and enjoyed on many levels, with different layers of understanding and complexity.
Mr 9 picked this one as a Storybox read as part of his home learning. He really enjoys drawing, so the idea of a young boy connecting with a homeless person through art really appealed.
We enjoyed seeing how the young boy noticed and connected with Pete - who lives on the streets - in a world that is so fast-paced and busy. We loved the little acts of kindness between the two. The yellow bird Pete draws for the young boy is full of such light and hope. It was lovely to see how the young boy was able to open the eyes of others around him, so that they too could see Pete and start to offer kindness towards him.
I found this story really moving and it provided a valuable opportunity to chat with Mr 9 about kindness and helping others, opening our eyes to what is around us, and ways of connecting. We also talked about the sad reality that some people don't have a home of their own and are really struggling. These ideas are explored in the book in such a sensitive and heartfelt way.
The illustrations are so warm and full of charm and are just so beautifully engaging.
Inspired by the story, the kids and I went outside and made some of our own chalk drawings outside our house, just as Pete did, to cheer up people passing by. With ongoing lockdown meaning there are limited ways to communicate with others, this was one small way we felt we could brighten up someone's day in a small way.
We loved this book so much we will be adding a physical copy to our own home library, and I highly recommend that this book be used at home and in schools.
Published by Affirm Press.