Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: Bad Kitty

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

Reading level: Ages 2 and up
Genre: Picture Book (Alphabet)
Hardcover: 40 pages
From the creator of The New York Times bestseller Boing! comes the riotous story of a cat gone berserk. Kitty is not happy when she's told that her favorite foods are all gone and all that's left are Asparagus, Beets, Cauliflower, Dill... and 22 other equally unappealing vegetables. So she:  Ate my homework, Bit grandma, Clawed the curtains, Damaged the dishes, and so on through Z. Only when tastier things arrive (An Assortment of Anchovies, Buffalo Burritos, Chicken Cheesecake...) does she Apologize to Grandma.

While looking for new picture books for my 3-year old son one afternoon, a very intelligent librarian suggested that I check out Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel. My children’s life (and mine by extension) has never been the same. Bad Kitty has taken residence our hearts with her antics, and we have no desire to serve an eviction notice.

This book is easily one of the best alphabet books available. Not only does it cycle through the alphabet four times, but it even highlights vowels during the food sections. The illustrations are funny, bright, and engaging. The text is deceptive in its simplicity: it isn’t easy to convey all the information Nick Bruel is able to in the text of an alphabet book, and make your readers care for the character.

When I first read through, I was concerned about how Bad Kitty hated some food that is healthy and often a “battle” food with children. I also worried that the things Bad Kitty does when she’s bad would be a poor example. However, I need not have worried.

The foods that Bad Kitty loves are so absurd that they are held in contrast to the good food. My children laughed and decided that Bad Kitty just didn’t like “people” food. Also, Bad kitty makes amends for her bad behavior and works to fix the problems she’d caused. This provided an excellent opportunity for me to teach my children about apologizing and correcting our mistakes.

I thoroughly recommend this book. I think that any picture book library needs a copy of Bad Kitty. Your children will not regret it and neither will you. (Also, when they get older, they can graduate to the Bad Kitty chapter books that are just as wonderful.)

You can visit the Bad Kitty website here:

You can buy Bad Kitty at Amazon, through one of the links to the side, or at your local brick-and-mortar store.

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