March 24 – National Button Day

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean Picture Book ReviewAbout the Holiday

You have to admit it—those little round things that hold our clothes and bags shut are indispensable. Sometimes tiny works of art in their own right, buttons are fascinating. Antique buttons made of glass, metal, or even bone and decorated with intricate paintings, engraved designs, or gemstones offer a glimpse into history, both American and International. Today’s buttons, fashioned into engaging shapes or brightly colored, have stories of their own and enhance whatever garment or item they adorn.

Button collecting was recognized as an organized hobby by the National Button Society in 1938, and National Button Week – which I’m celebrating today – was founded in 1989. The goal is to promote awareness of the fun of button collecting and to recognize the study and display of antique and collectible buttons. Button collecting is a fun hobby that is exciting for all ages.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Written by Eric Litwin | Created and Illustrated by James Dean


It’s 8:00 in the morning and Pete the Cat is ready to start the day wearing his favorite shirt – the one with 4 groovy buttons. Those buttons are big, they are round, they are colorful, and they inspire him to sing a song: “My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons. My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons.”

Soon, however, one of the buttons pops off! That leaves Pete with how many buttons? 3! Right! Does Pete cry? “Goodness No! Buttons come and buttons go.” Fortunately for readers buttons continue to GO…inviting kids to do the math and sing the infectious song with each “Pop!”

As Pete sits atop his surfboard atop his VW Beetle looking very beachy, his last button goes sprooiiing and rolls away. What does Pete see then? Why, the only button that won’t desert him—his belly button!

Eric Litwin’s short, fast-paced text contains plenty of exciting opportunities for read-along, shout-along fun on every page. The subtraction problems offered as Pete loses buttons provide early learners with confidence-building moments, and Pete’s easy-going attitude is just right for these hyper-busy times.

James Dean’s illustrations are as big, bold, colorful, and groovy as Pete’s buttons. Vibrant primary colors rivet readers to the page, and—Watch out! That popping button is swirling right at you! But through it all Pete the Cat remains his nonchalant self.

Ages 4 – 8

HarperCollins, 2012 | ISBN 978-0062110589

National Button Week Activity

CPB - Button Coat

Pin the Button on the Coat Game


Pin the Button on the Coat is a fun game you can make yourself and play anytime! It’s great for a button-themed party or on any day that you’re holed up and just poppin’ to do something! The game is played like “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,” and the object is to get the buttons as close to the center of the coat as possible. Have fun!


CPB - Button Coat II


  1. Cut out the coat, sleeves, and collar following the printable patterns
  2. With the fabric glue, attach the sleeves to the edge of the coat, and the collar to the top of the coat.
  3. Let dry
  4. Cut circles to represent buttons from the other colors of fleece or felt, as many as you need
  5. With the marker make dots to represent holes in the “buttons”
  6. When the glue on the coat is dry, attach it to the clothes hanger with the clothespins

If you like buttons and button crafts, pop on over to February 29—Haiku Writing Day for Guyku—a fun book of poetry—and directions to make a bookmark with colorful buttons!


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