It's a Wash! Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel
"I HAVE WRONGED YOU! AND TO MAKE UP FOR MY WRETCHED BEHAVIOR, I SHALL REWARD YOU...
FOR I AM NO MERE KITTY! I AM QUEEN ESMERELDA, KITTY OF MAGIC CANDY RAINBOW ISLAND!
I HAVE BEEN SENT TO YOUR LAND TO FIND THE ONE WITH THE TRUEST AND BRAVEST HEART, FOR ONLY THE ONE WITH THE TRUEST AND BRAVEST HEART WOULD DARE TO GIVE A DIRTY, SMELLY KITTY A BATH!
AS A REWARD FOR YOUR TRUE AND BRAVE HEART, I BESTOW UPON YOU THE GREATEST TREASURE EVER GRANTED...
THIS FLYING GOLDEN UNICORN STANDING IN A MAGIC CAULDRON FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE-COVERED DIAMONDS!"
We regret to inform you that Chapter Three was a dream.
Bad Kitty is back, and a stinky kitty she is, after a bit of a brou-ha-ha involving Poor Puppy (Bad Kitty) and a lot of spilled garbage. Tongue-washing isn't an option here. This situation calls for a bath, a bath involving a tub of warm water and lots of kitty shampoo.
In Nick Bruel's latest book in the Bad Kitty series, Kitty's owner knows that it's important to prepare Kitty's bath before you "introduce" her to the tub. Necessary supplies? Oh, warm water, kitty shampoo, dry towels, kitty-shaped bathrobe (with hood), the usual stuff, AND... suit of armor, your doctor on speed dial, a farewell note to the family, plasma and lots and lots of bandages, clean underwear (don't ask!), plane tickets to Aunt Pauline's to hide out until Kitty forgets all about it, and an ambulance in the driveway, motor running.
Giving a cat a bath is a bit like making rabbit stew. You know, first catch the rabbit? Catching a smart kitty takes a bit of doing. Bad Kitty disappears at the very sound of the word "bath," disguising herself cleverly as Puppy, complete with dog collar and a dog vocabulary ("DUHHH. ARF?") Luckily, unmasked, Bad Kitty runs for the bathroom where she once successfully hid out behind the toilet, only to find herself cornered before a steaming tub of bath water by a determined owner. There is an unfortunate incident involving failed persuasion and rather effective claws, until reverse psychology is applied. Kitty is persuaded that after her bath she will enjoy the spectacle of Puppy being doused with icy cold water, scrubbed with the chimney brush, the toilet brush, the paint brush and the toothbrush until he cries for mercy.
And with a MEOWR! REOWR! HISS! and a FFT! FFT! FFT! Kitty is given her bath, emerging as a skinny, scraggly, dripping, mess of bedraggled wet--but clean-smelling--fur. After the bath, of course, Kitty's little left fang is in full view, and her distaste with the whole process and its perpetrator is more than evident. As Bruel points out
This would NOT be a good time to pat her.
In fact, Kitty may avoid you altogether for a few hours... or days... or weeks.
Try not to take it personally. After all, you made Kitty do something that she HATED and never wanted to do....
You both hope you NEVER have to give Kitty a bath again.
Bruel's Bad Kitty Gets a Bath, (Roaring Brook Press) features the most laugh-out-loud hilarity yet. Although the author contends stoutly that this is a beginning chapter book, it is actually somewhere between a small-format picture book, a graphic novel, and a beginning chapter book, happily with the best aspects of all three. Bruel's comic illustrations are perfect examples of what we reviewers mean when we say the illustrations extend the text, and if his actual text were not so witty, this book could stand as a "story without words." But the text is really funny. Anyone who has ever bathed a angry cat (and they are ALL angry when soused in a tub of water) will recognize every bit of this humorous how-to book. In addition to the inserted Daily Nooz (Entire Family Flees for Life!), Quick Quiz, Common Cat Sounds and Their Meanings, Uncle Murray's Fun Facts,, and warning notes from The Editor hiding certain scenes he declares unsuited for the young, there is an Epilogue (How to Give a Puppy a Bath), and a Glossary, all part of the non-stop fun in this howl of a yowling good read.
Bruel's next Bad Kitty tale, Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty is forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press on September 1. Live long and prosper, Bad Kitty!