A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kitty tears through three different alphabets, with lots of interesting vocabulary "Vixen was vexed/ The wreath looked just wretched") and clever rhymes: "Our yuletide looked yucky/ my zeal had been zapped/ When I had found kitty/ In the shreds where she napped."
A kind old woman brings Kitty to her apartment and tells her all about the friends and family whose photos hang on her tiny Christmas tree: "I may not have jewels/ or a car or a yacht/ But I still have my memories,/ and that's quite a lot." She also stresses the true meaning of Christmas: "It's not about presents/ all over the place. It's not about food/ or stuffing your face./ Like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa,/ and Eid, you see,/ Christmas is all about ... FAMILY." Kitty's owner, the narrator, explains that "Some friends are like family,/and she became kin."
Positive Role Models
The old woman is kind to take Kitty in and willing to let her go when Puppy tracks her down. Kitty's owner, the dad narrator (who is mainly offscreen), scolds Kitty for messing up but clearly loves and cares about his beloved pet. He generously invites the old woman to stay for a snack when she returns Kitty on Christmas Eve night, and even to move in.
Violence & Scariness
Kitty tackles the Christmas tree, upends the eggnog, tears up the gifts, wrapping and ribbons, "mauls the manger," "ousts the ornaments," and crashes into trashcans.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is the seventh book in the Bad Kitty series. Nick Bruel sticks to the formula, with engaging verse and clever wordplay as Kitty blasts through the decked halls of her house and three alphabets on Christmas Eve. But here there's also a warm message about the true meaning of Christmas.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of the series will certainly enjoy a new installment, but even readers unfamiliar with the franchise will find this wacky and heartwarming story a wonderful holiday selection. In its own funny way, it accomplishes what all Christmas stories attempt: to show a deeper meaning of Christmas beyond all the bustle, decorations, and presents.
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