Pros: Hilarious moments as only Bad Kitty can deliver
The Bottom Line: When Uncle Murray comes to pet sit, things don't go quite as planned.
Bad Kitty can be found with all the other chapter books for kids. This was actually the first book by Nick Bruel that I ever found (at work, as usual). After flipping through a few pages and laughing to myself, I thought, "Okay, I have got to read this." Then I checked out some of the other Bad Kitty books that came before it.
In this particular book, Bad Kitty is minding her own business (as cats usually do), when her owners let her know that Uncle Murray will be staying for a few days to keep an eye on her and Puppy. Of course, poor Uncle Murray ends up spending most of his time getting scared to pieces as Kitty spazzes out at unsuspecting times, screeching loudly and then running off. Pet-sitting Puppy is a breeze. Kitty, not so much.
I think this book is actually the funniest of the Bad Kitty books thusfar. Before, kids and parents only saw Uncle Murray when Nick Bruel brought him out for fun cat facts. Now we get to see him in earnest...the poor guy. The funny thing is that we don't just see events from his perspective - we get Kitty's as well. That's why it's a bit easier to understand just what her deal is. Early on when Uncle Murray is talking to her, a page features the way she sees it - a super-close up of Uncle Murray, complete with sharp teeth and making loud, strange noises. She promptly spazzes out.
Kids will have a good time reading this book and the illustrations will have kids giggling and laughing almost the entire time. They'll be able to spot Kitty before Uncle Murray does, such as when he's vacuuming and her tail is dangling down from a table. Of course, when she hears the noise of the vacuum, she spazzes out...and scares Uncle Murray to death.
The close up was one of my favorite parts, but my other favorite part was when Kitty and Puppy end up locked in the closet together. As readers, we're informed of just how much time goes by (maybe 10 minutes or less). Kitty, however, starts to lose it, and we get to see all her internal thoughts. While Puppy sits there happily panting away, Kitty begins to wig out to the point that she believes she must be starving and begins to think Puppy may be her only source of food. The absolute ridiculousness of the whole thing is what makes it so funny. When Uncle Murray finds them, Kitty is chewing on Puppy's leg, Puppy is oblivious, and then Kitty freaks out again and scares Uncle Murray. It's a vicious cycle. Readers won't be surprised at the condition they see Uncle Murray in by the time they hit the end of the book.
Like the other Bad Kitty chapter books, it isn't that Kitty is bad per se, but more like....well, any normal cat, really. Perhaps a little more neurotic, and occasionally grumpier, but don't let the title fool you into thinking that Bad Kitty does bad things on purpose or to be mean. Frankly, I think Kitty is pretty much on par with anyone's cat.
Kids will also get a kick out of Uncle Murray's random facts about cats, and at the end of the book readers get treated to a list of words they may not be familiar with. That's another great thing about these books - not only are the delightfully goofy, they use words kids aren't going to find often in other chapter books (if at all), so they get a little extra challenge when it comes to honing their reading skills.
I highly recommend this goofy book to anyone who wants a fun read, kids eager for silly stories, or people who have a cat. Heck, I don't have a cat or kids and I want to read this book again just for the laughs.
*Ok, so I realize that last part sounds kind of weird, but for those of you that don't know, I work at a bookstore and often pull shifts in the kids section and it's nice to see some of the great stuff out there for kids these days.