Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig

Everyone has a unique hodgepodge of memories. The funny thing is, of the millions of little moments that we experience throughout our lives, only a very small percentage will be retained in our minds; and the thing is, we never really know which are the ones that will stick — that we can still recall clearly maybe 20 or 30 years down the road, even though they didn’t seem all that significant at that point of time. What we remember of childhood as an adult is thus all the more hazy, given that those form our very first memories. That said, if you are lucky enough to have parents who take pains to carve out extra-special moments in the midst of the everyday mundanities — the kind that you’ll be hard-pressed to forget — then it’s likely that you will have more fond memories of childhood than not. And judging from Pete’s a Pizza — based on author William Steig’s personal memories of a game he used to play with his youngest daughter — Maggie is one such lucky girl.

True to the quirky title of the book, the story centres around the unusual and imaginative way in which Pete’s father cheers him up on one particularly gloomy rainy day — by making him into a ‘pizza’!

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Well, a pretend-pizza at least, which involves Pete being ‘kneaded’, ‘floured’, ‘oiled’ and topped with ‘tomatoes’, ‘cheese’ and ‘pepperoni’ and ‘baked’. Sounds wacky, but it’s really very sweet, and the dynamics between Pete and his parents are believably heartwarming.

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The interesting thing is, the illustrations and text almost read like a set of instructions — a how-to guide of sorts — for this ‘Pizza’ game, which has no doubt brought much joy to the author’s family and which he has kindly decided to share in the form of this book. But whether or not you decide to take up his generous offer to co-opt the game for your own use — and why wouldn’t you?! — reading this book is guaranteed to chase away anyone’s blues and, better yet, help you make some great memories of your own.

Check out the cute animation of the book here:

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