October 2005

A picky eater with attitude

By Nick Bruel
Review by
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From the cover to the final page, there can be no doubt that what we have here is one very bad cat. Evidence abounds, from the torn up furniture to the paw prints up the wall to the moustache and beard drawn on the author's photo. But the jet-black feline at the heart of this entertaining picture book wasn't always a bad cat. She was a sweet kitty until the fateful day when her family ran out of cat food and offered her people food instead. Does this kitty appreciate the food? Well, in a word, no.

Author/illustrator Nick Bruel presents a riotous alphabetical roster of healthy foods presented to the cat, from asparagus to zucchini. Kitty reacts with disdain, like a teenager receiving fashion advice from a parent: grabbing her neck, rolling her eyes, screaming in horror. And when the facial gestures fail to get her message across, the kitty resorts to more forceful actions calculated to get RESPECT! Once again, readers are launched on a trip through the alphabet. First, we learn, the bad kitty "Ate my homework" and then "Bit Grandma." Other highlights of kitty's revenge (in alphabetical order, of course) are "Hurled hair balls at our heads" and "Overturned her cat box" and finally, "Zeroed the zinnias." Her displeasure with the culinary choices chez kitty builds to its hilarious climax and is brought to a screeching halt when the adults arrive with a bevy of tasty treats for kitty, everything from anchovies to zebra ziti. To pay back her generous owner, bad kitty decides she wants to be a good kitty. "But not just any good kitty a very, very good, good, good kitty." The contrite cat performs fine feline tasks and even takes on duties usually reserved for human beings, like repairing curtains and filling out tax forms.

Bruel has created a joyfully silly portrait of a picky eater with attitude. His bold, humorous illustrations are sure to keep young readers amused as they follow kitty's escapades again and again.

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Bad Kitty

Bad Kitty

By Nick Bruel
Roaring Brook
ISBN 9781596430693

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