Second-Hand Nick: Pete The Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin
'Twas the day before Christmas and Santa was ill.
In the cold winter wind he had caught a bad chill.
Will Christmas be cancelled? Will it come to that?
"NEVER!" cried Santa. "Let's call Pete the Cat!"
St. Nick on the blink! Who ya gonna call? For a surrogate Nick in the nick of time, who wouldn't think of Pete the Cat!
"Road trip!" cried Pete. "First stop the North Pole!"
Always up for anything, Pete packs his skateboard atop of his cheery red VW surfin' minibus and leaves the beach sunshine behind for the snowy clime of the North Pole. Evidently fearing that Pete's trusty Beetle bus lacks the horsepower to haul the whole world's toys, Santa thoughtfully supplies an antlered turbo-charger in the form of his team of reindeer. Pete hitches up, loads up, and sets off to circumnavigate the globe, with presents for all the sleeping children, as he sings:
"I'll do it," said Pete. "And although I am small,
At Christmas we give,
So I will give it my all."
And in the spirit of Christmas, as Pete always says, it's all good, in Eric Litwin's jolly new holiday tale, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas (HarperCollins, 2012). Litwin's "groovy" verses liven up the oft-told tale of a last-minute Santa's substitute who saves the day by filling in on sleigh duty. Charles Dean's deadpan cat is hard to resist, even if the plotline of this Pete the Cat tale is a bit less creative than his earlier outings. But as Pete sees it,
The minibus flew, just like in a movie.
Pete the Cat cried, "This is totally groovy."