Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath - book review

                                   Quote of the Day!

"TV.  If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they'll have with twenty-six."  Open your child's imagination.  Open a book."
                                                 ~Author Unknown

If you are a cat owner then you can probably identify with the above photo.  Bathing is one of their least favourite things to do and you had better take precautions when you have decided to say to your cat..."Today is bath day!"  Today's humorous, fiction book will give you further insight into this epic event.  Enjoy.

Title:  Bad Kitty Gets a Bath
Author and Illustrator:  Nick Bruel

                    Check out the expression on that kitty's face...oh, oh....dare you go there????

This awesome book is a hybrid - a chapter book and a graphic novel.  It is a beginner chapter book that will be sure to tickle the fancy of a reluctant reader.  It is educational and hilarious.  It is an owner's guide to giving your own personal feline a well deserved bath.  It is full of fabulous illustrations that compliment the text perfectly....showing raw emotions, and "Bad" Kitty's behaviour and attitude when Kitty is faced with this dreaded event.  The purpose of the story is to document exactly how you go about giving your pet a bath.  You are instructed to prepare the water, locate the kitty, put the kitty into the water... the book states...."You'll need a bathtub, water, a suit of armour, an ambulance waiting in the driveway"....  and the fun begins.  Embedded in the story are interesting science facts about feline anatomy and behaviour.  You learn that cats use their own tongues to sponge bath themselves off all over.  They have to be careful because all that licking can give them hairballs which is just plain nasty. You learn exactly why cats lick themselves, the science behind a hairball and exactly why cats do hate water.

From experience I know that cats do indeed hate water, so you can conclude that cats hate baths, so therefore you can conclude, that just maybe, at that particular time when you are the administrator of the water torture, your cat just might hate...... fill in the blank!!!  Do not take this personally though, it is the  bath they hate not you.  The feelings will pass after you drain the tub.

The book is laugh out loud funny and would be a perfect read aloud in a classroom setting.  The author's interview at the end of the book is a wonderful asset and may just inspire someone to become their own author or illustrator or perhaps write about another Bad Kitty adventure.

About the author:

Nick Bruel is an American author and illustrator of children’s books, most notably the Bad Kitty series. The first book in the series, Bad Kitty, is an alphabet-themed picture book, and the following books are chapter books. Wikipedia

Nick Bruel went onto Amazon and left this message.  I will pass it along to you for clarity.

Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase
Although I truly loathe the idea of reviewing my own book, I just want it to be perfectly clear to anyone before they purchase this book that "BAD KITTY GETS A BATH" is NOT a picture book like the original "Bad Kitty" or "Poor Puppy," but is a CHAPTER book.

For reasons unknown to me, the Amazon product description above does not clearly spell this out, so I thought I would do it myself. I really don't want anyone purchasing this book thinking that they'll be getting something that it is not.

Mind you, I think you can treat this book as if it were a long picture book. Even though the book is 128 pages of pure Kitty induced mayhem, I also loaded the book with over 120 illustrations to tell this story of how to give this cat a bath.

This was my reasoning for this book...

I worked for over 7 years in a children's bookstore in Manhattan called "Books of Wonder." During that time, I always found it bewildering when publishers would awkwardly adapt a popular children's book character into a board book format for babies and toddlers. It always made more sense to me to adapt a picture book character into the CHAPTER book format to give kids who are familiar with the character the chance to grow with her and challenge their reading level. To my knowledge, the only character to have done this to mixed success was Mary Hoffman's Grace.

And now I'm trying this with Bad Kitty.

My publisher Roaring Brook and I are treating "BAD KITTY GETS A BATH" as a bridge book for kids who are ready to move from the picture book format to the chapter book (and graphic novel) format.

That's why as a chapter book, I tried to keep the language relatively simple while still loading the book with moments of true non-fiction and lots of humor, keeping in mind that reluctant readers as old as 12 or 13 might pick this one up as well.

Kirkus Reviews got it. In its Starred review of this book, they set the age range at a nice, wide 5-12 years old.

I hope this helps.

                                                   Book Review Rating:    8  (Fabulous!)

Read on and read always.

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