Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat Book Poster Image
Halloween alphabet book is a howlingly funny treat.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Four rounds of the alphabet loaded with fun descriptive vocabulary: "an inept kitty," "an odious ogre," "eradicated the ectoplasm." Solid lesson on getting carried away with your imagination.

Positive Messages

Even the seemingly fearless are afraid of something. A galloping imagination heightens fear. Working toward a goal can motivate you to confront and conquer your worries.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kitty gets over her fear -- though her reasons and methods are hilariously awful.

Violence & Scariness

The scary creatures that frighten Kitty look realistic (and often monstrous), but the second time they're shown it's clear they're only costumes.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat shows how Kitty, spooked by costumed characters, vanquishes her fears. Her technique -- attacking trick-or-treaters and stealing their candy -- is laughably over the top. Nick Bruel's Kitty has a long track record of bad behavior, and her treatment of the trick-or-treaters is more of the same: She pinches, punches, bites, and smacks wildly. In the process, she unmasks a diverse group of kids. The story includes four alphabetical lists, heavy on creative descriptive words and alliteration.

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What's the story?

BAD KITTY SCAREDY-CAT shows how the notoriously ornery Kitty got to be so very bad. She starts out brave, daring, and tough (and sometimes angry, inept, vexed, and more). But one night, a parade of terrifying creatures comes to her doorstep and sends her into hiding: a ghastly goblin, a killer kraken, a toxic tarantula, and worse. But a dropped bag spills an enticing pile of treats, and Kitty wants more. She decides to be a very, very bad kitty and attacks all the trick-or-treaters, swiping their booty for herself. (But a woof from Puppy still spooks her!)

Is it any good?

Nick Bruel's comically cantankerous cat is back with a laugh-out-loud story perfect for both building vocabularies and easing children's trick-or-treating jitters as Halloween night draws near. Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat rips through four rounds of the alphabet, and each round is zanier than the last.

The ghoulish creatures look realistic at first, but even skittish kids will be drawn in by the energetic artwork, Kitty's freaked-out expressions, and the deliciously descriptive vocabulary. The next time the creatures appear, the tables are turned: Beneath those monstrous costumes are trick-or-treaters terrified by greedy Kitty. It's another gem in Bruel's popular Bad Kitty series.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Kitty conquers her fear in Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat. Her greed for treats motivates her to overcome her fear. What helps you get through scary situations?

  • What's a better way Kitty could have gotten treats?

  • Notice the alliteration (when two words start with the same sound). Come up with some fun alliterative descriptions of your own.

Book details

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