Bad Kitty


Title: Bad Kitty
Author/Illustrator: Nick Bruel
Published: Roaring Brook Press, 2005

Just a quick note before this review: I want to make sure I review books beyond our shelves (though we have a very, very, very long way to go before we’ve exhausted our own book supply). I also want to give us the chance to react honestly to books we’ve never seen before.

So that’s why my local library is down 30 books. (Sorry, residents of Woodbridge.)

Yes, I have a month’s worth of new (to us) books to review! To that, I say:
1. Yay! New boooooks!
2. Support your local library!
3. “Honey, I think we need our own copy of most of these books…”

Tonight, we’re taking a look at a book I saw in passing (a kid was clutching it possessively in her stroller) and knew Lily would love…yes, we’re looking at Bad Kitty!

I had no idea what kind of book Bad Kitty would be, but I have this to say (yes, another list…someone is being a lazy writer tonight):

1. I’ve read the book five times and we’ve only had it in our house for seven hours.
2. Lily already wants a copy for her birthday.
3. Lily also noticed that this is part of a series of Bad Kitty books (they’re listed on the jacket flap). She has requested the other books for “Christmas, Easter, my other birthdays…”
4. Vivi found the book hilarious as well. Even being a non-cat fanatic, she enjoyed it.

So what’s it all about? Well, a bad kitty. A REALLY bad kitty. But she wasn’t always bad…it just kind of happened one day when they ran out of cat food. (Who among us hasn’t been a bit hangry? I can’t really blame Kitty for that.) Her family tried to feed her all kinds of *terrible* things (for cats). Everything from asparagus to zucchini – yuck!

So Kitty did some really naughty things. She ate homework…she bit grandma! She irritated a baby! She ran the gamut of bad cat acts from A-Z, quite literally.

But then…mom (or whomever did the grocery shopping, I’m just projecting) arrived home with a variety of cat-friendly foods. (These are hilarious. My favourite is Uncle Murray. He’s so confused! Oh, and the excess of T-Rex. Can you really ever have too much T-Rex?) And Kitty is delighted! She decides to be a good kitty. But not just good…REALLY good. Once again, we romp through the alphabet, this time while Kitty makes amends for all the things she had done wrong, (I laughed out loud when Kitty filed the taxes).

It seems that all’s well that ends well…until the family decides to reward Kitty with a puppy of her very own. Who will, of course, share her food.

The last page is hilarious, and on the back cover, the puppy is covered in purple paint (courtesy of Kitty).

It is SO awesome to find a funny book that stands up to multiple readings. I’ve read stories in the past that work the first time because of the surprise factor. (At risk of having an unpopular opinion, I felt that BJ Novak’s A Book With No Pictures definitely fit the “it’s funniest the first time, then less funny each subsequent time” bill.) I’ve read this book five times now, and it’s just as good as the first time.

The art is excellent. The cat’s design is super, and the cartoon-ish nature of the book fits the frantic pace perfectly. I love the use of the alphabet to guide us through kitty’s goodness/badness/food choices.

I know a copy of this book (and the other Bad Kitty books) will be taking up residence on our bookshelf soon. And this mama is delighted about that!

Mama’s review: A+
Vivi’s review: 10
Lily’s review: “Read it again! I love Bad Kitty!”

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