Bad Kitty for President

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Bad Kitty for President Book Poster Image
Smart, savvy civics lesson served with lots of laughs.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This slim book has astonishing breadth: It explains the difference between PACs and 527s, shows how media can help or hurt a campaign and how it can be manipulated, details every step of the process from the primaries to Election Day, and delves into the role played by money and influential supporters. Starred words are explained in an entertaining glossary, and spreads with "Uncle Murray's Fun Facts" walk through some of the drier aspects. 

Positive Messages

Sleazy tactics aren't rewarded. Kitty's transgressions are very funny but always clearly examples of what not to do. 

Positive Role Models & Representations
The narrator is firm in his reprimands for Kitty's terrible behavior. And some of the secondary characters -- including Old Kitty and Strange Kitty -- are solid examples of decency and integrity.
Violence & Scariness

Nothing explicit, but language includes "heck," "holy %#@$," and "jerk."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that despite a bit of coarseness, this latest in the New York Times-bestselling Bad Kitty series is a terrific primer on the election process. Kitty makes plenty of ugly missteps, including defecating on someone's lawn and smearing her opponent in an attack ad that she claims to know nothing about. Kids will get a healthy dose of skepticism along with their civics lesson.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySpixmacaw978 May 19, 2021

Best Comedy Chapter book

All of them are including the previous 4 and the others. I would recommend seeing if your child can read it before giving it to her. I read this since 3rd grad... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old March 17, 2012


Kid, 12 years old March 7, 2012

The best book ever

this is a good book to learn of what you should do and what you should not do.

What's the story?

In BAD KITTY FOR PRESIDENT, Kitty is fed up with stray cats coming into her neighborhood, so she decides to do something about it by running for president of the Neighborhood Cat Club. She tries to crown herself president but learns that it takes a lot of work to get elected. Still, she wins the primary (by kissing a baby) and becomes the nominee. Then she has to seek endorsements, hit the campaign trail, and figure out how to use mass media to her advantage. After a lively debate with her opponent, she and her fellow cats head to the polls on Election Day to find out who will lead the neighborhood cats for the next four years.

Is it any good?

Bad Kitty is expertly used here to humorously illustrate the best and worst of the American election process.

The idea of democratically electing a president is easy enough for a young child to understand -- but the actual mechanics of the process are much harder to grasp. Bad Kitty is certainly true to her moniker: She's selfish, devious, rude, and petty. (Insert your own joke about politicians here.)  

Nick Bruel, author-illustrator of seven previous bad Kitty books, including A Bad Kitty Christmas, presents a nice piece of political humor built on the metaphorical race to lead the Neighborhood Cat Club. Kids will be so tickled by Kitty's antics -- she mistakes the idea of a "grassroots campaign" to mean she should use a lawn as a litter box, for example, and a video of her going "nutso" goes viral on "VueTube" -- that they'll sail through a complex discussion of American politics. Unlike more idealistic introductions to civics, this slim volume manages to equip kids with the know-how to be savvy participants in the democratic process. Bruel's winning illustrations add to the fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what motivates people to run for office. Kitty is apathetic until she realizes that it could be to her advantage to hold power. Why do politicians seek office?

  • How are political ads like ads for products? How are they different? Talk about how candidates use media.

  • Families also can talk about the intended safeguards in the election process, from PACs and 527 groups to laws about buying gifts and slandering opponents. The narrator is sometimes skeptical, even saying 527 groups seem "fishy." What do you think?

  • Kitty runs for office because she's unhappy about stray cats coming into her neighborhood. Read the debate moderator's question about the stray-cats issue: What do you think about the problem?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love humor and animals

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