Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bad Kitty Gets A Bath

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel. A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press. 2008. Personal copy.

The Plot:

How to give a kitty -- especially a bad kitty -- a bath.

The Good:

Since last year my reading was all about YA, I missed gems such as this one. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath is aimed at beginning readers, but doesn't talk down to them.

All too often, because beginning readers/early chapter books are about strengthening reader skills, they are simplistic, both in vocabulary and story. This book is perfect for that reader who is moving beyond basic readers, who wants something more interesting and entertaining, but who doesn't want a long, text-heavy book. Yes, it's all well and good that some kids are reading Chaucer in kindergarten; but the other kids deserve good stories, too. Bad Kitty Gets a Bath is a book that will make a reader of any age laugh. And it's not a book that looks young or babyish; other kids are not going to snicker at the child reading this book.

On to the book itself; as the title says, it's about giving a kitty a bath. Many reluctant readers like non-fiction; this book appeals to that need, with facts about cats and how cats clean themselves and baths, and even includes a glossary. The illustrations are wonderful, adding a layer of meaning and humor to the text. But, the book also works just reading the text; I think it would work very well as an audiobook.

I laughed out loud for most of this book; it's a Favorite Book for this year. How much did I love it? I bought my own copy. That's love, what with the spending the money and needing to find room on the shelves. The second bit probably won't be a real problem; I'm sure the niece and nephew will pounce on it and claim it as theirs and take it home.

The Publisher's website includes a few pages from the book, so you can see the brilliance.

Publisher's Weekly interview with Nick Bruel.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Mary Ann Scheuer said...

My 7-year old daughter is a voracious reader, but this is one of her favorites this year. She laughs out loud reading it, and has to tell me about it over and over again. Her favorite part is when it say that the previous chapter (explaining how Kitty got a bath) was actually all a dream. The author just nails that dry sarcasm that kids are developing. Glad you enjoyed it so much, too!

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thanks for pointing this one out. My 3 and 4 year old have BAD KITTY (I had to buy them their own copy because believe it or not, libraries like to get their books back) and will be very pleased to know there's another one out.