Allison's Book Bag

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

Posted on: October 27, 2014

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel is an experience like no other. In this colorful extravaganza, Bruel elevates the picture book experience beyond the ordinary. He also takes alphabet books to a new creative height.

There are movies which from the moment the first credit rolls right onto the screen to the moment that the last credit rolls off the screen are a cinematic experience. Bad Kitty offers the equivalent experience in picture book form. From the front cover, to the title page, through even the small print and the dedication, right to the back cover, pretty much every page is a visual treat. Immediately inside, the title book page displays the handiwork of Bad Kitty: Paw prints mark almost every inch of the room; Tossed about in various locations across the living room are foods from an overturned fruit bowl. Finally, there is a cracked painting, scratched lamp, ripped couch, and emptied desk. As for the parade of alphabet pages, each displays four colorfully-framed examples of food or mischief drawn in delightful line art. Bad Kitty makes her appearance on each page, most often in the center, wearing very pronounced expressions. I can’t imagine reading this book without being inspired to create a fan tale. Even the front and back covers have a tie-in, although you might need to read the entire book to see the connection.

With regards to the alphabet, Bruel takes readers through it not just once, twice, or thrice, but FOUR times! The first time through, Bruel displays all the foods which the family has left and that Bad Kitty does not want to eat. All of them are healthy options including lettuce and radishes. My only complaint is that some, such as mushrooms and onions, shouldn’t have even been offered because they are in reality toxic to cats. The second time, Bruel shows us all the ways that Bad Kitty invokes revenge for these foods even having been suggested. Some of the mischief is not common to cats such as biting ankles and clawing curtains, while others are more original such as flooding the bathroom. The third time, Bruel displays all the new foods which the family buys for Bad Kitty, all of which is immensely appealing to a cat. My favorites include fried flies and lizard lasagna. The fourth and final time, Bruel shows all the ways that Bad Kitty made amends for all the damage he inflicted, many of which parallel the original examples including apologizing to Grandma for biting her ankle and repairing the curtains that he ripped.

You should view Bad Kitty as pure silliness and entertainment. If a lesson is to be drawn though, you might find it in the fact that Bad Kitty does decide to become a good kitty. Moreover, she immediately sets about trying to set all wrongs to right. She cleans her overturned litter box, kisses a goldfish, and mops the bathroom, to name a few examples. Then again, when her owners try to reward her with a new play friend…. Well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Bad Kitty is bad. But she doesn’t always mean to. Whatever your age, I dare you to not love Bad Kitty. I suspect that every page and each new book will have you laughing at all of Bad Kitty’s antics. She is just that adorable and fun.

My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.

How would you rate this book?

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