BooksForKidsBlog

Friday, February 27, 2015

Shelter Pup: Puppy's Big Day (Bad Kitty) by Nick Bruel

IN CASE IT'S NOT OBVIOUS, KITTY IS IN A VERY, VERY, VERY BAD MOOD TODAY.

AND NOBODY KNOWS WHY.

IT'S WORSE THAN THE DAY SOMEONE SAID KITTY NEEDED A BATH.

IT'S WORSE THAN THE DAY THEY CANCELED HER FAVORITE TV SHOW CLAW AND ORDER.

Clueless as usual, Puppy is oblivious of Kitty's obvious body language. He's in such danger of having his hide shredded that his owner decides to call for backup to get him out of ground zero.

UNCLE MURRAY IS HERE!

Good ol' Uncle Murray is delighted to play dog-owner-for-the-day, but Bad Kitty provides a hurried cat conniption send off, and Puppy and Uncle Murray have to exit the house at top speed.

Uncle Murray soon has a run-in with the legal requirements of dog ownership. In short order he gets citations from an ornery off-page officer of the law--tickets for having no leash, no poop-scooping equipment, no dog license, and walking Puppy through a NO DOGS ALLOWED park.

"HOLY SALAMI! THIS WHOLE DOG-WALKING THING IS STARTING TO COST ME SOME BIG BUCKS!"

Finally Uncle Murray finds the dog park. Safe at last?

Not really. Puppy soon acquires an ardent admirer, the world's ugliest lady bulldog, who chooses him for her love interest. Assuming that the drooly toy mouse Puppy has been schlepping is a romantic offering, she snatches it. A bad scene ensues--and both dogs are hauled off to the doggy slammer while Uncle Murray is up a tree, protecting what remains of the seat of his pants.

In his latest, Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day (Roaring Brook Press, 2015), author-illustrator Nick Bruel has a fine time spoofing the I'm-in-the-Jailhouse-Now scene at the pound, adding a grizzled old Llasa Apso lifer named Gramps and a stir-crazy chihuahua called Hercules, until Uncle Murray finally appears to bail out Puppy. All's well that ends well, with old-softy Uncle Murray adopting the three pound pooches, and when the slimy toy mouse Puppy has carried all the way turns out to be Bad Kitty's lost Mousey-mouse, peace is finally restored at the Bruel/Bad Kitty household and Puppy is (temporarily, we presume) Bad Kitty's best friend.

Along with his full-format picture books, Nick Bruel's latest beginning chapter book, done in comic graphic novel style, is a fine addition to the prodigious Bad Kitty series. Bruel's slapstick sight-gags never fail to crack up youngsters, but his visual and verbal humor is so slyly sophisticated that even grownups find these books sidesplitting read-alouds. As usual, Bruel includes "informational" sections" ("Kitty's Horrible But True Facts About Dogs") on such natural questions as to why dogs must be walked (and cats don't), why dogs lick people's faces (and cats don't), and why dogs sniff butts (and cats don't) that will elicit equal measures of gagging and giggles from young readers.

"As always, Bruel's writing is hilarious, and his excellent illustrations make the story complete. Bad Kitty fans will enjoy this volume immensely," adds School Library Journal.

For more Bad Kitty tales, read my earlier reviews here.

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