Bad Kitty School Daze

Common Sense Media says

Hilarious fun when cranky Kitty goes to obedience school.





What parents need to know

Educational value

"Fun facts with Uncle Murray" explain why cats and dogs behave so differently, why they have such trouble getting along, and how pet owners can help a cat and dog become friends. Miss Dee's example offers some instruction in how to behave.

Positive messages

Kitty's bad behavior is not tolerated in school, but her teacher shows the value in being willing to listen and looking for someone strengths, no matter how disagreeable they may be. Kitty's classmates learn how better behavior can make life more pleasant. And Kitty purrs happily when her teacher shows that she admires Kitty's good qualities.

Positive role models

Kitty is cranky and bristly, but her patient teacher isn't fooled: Kitty is kind to Puppy, delights Petunia with a gift, and supports the bunny. Petunia is persuaded to be kind to cats after getting to know Kitty. And the spotlight-hogging bunny learns to wait for his turn. The teacher is the type any parents would want their child to have in school.

Violence & scariness

Kitty and Puppy get into trouble for fighting, and Kitty is mistakenly blamed for hurting Baby. (She later trips him on purpose.) A cat-hating bulldog named Petunia rants about wanting to chew their faces, punch them, and throw them into volcanoes, and during arts and crafts covers her paper with red paint, the "color of cat's blood!" It's funny, but sensitive kids might be taken aback. A funny would-be supervillain talks endlessly about taking over the world.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bad Kitty School Daze, like the other books in this popular series, delivers some very good messages through the outrageous behavior of its bad-tempered heroine. Brief asides shed light on why cats and dogs get along so poorly and explain how families can encourage their dog and cat to get along. Sensitive kids might be taken aback by Petunia's initially violent feelings toward cats.


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What's the story?

Kitty and Puppy won't stop hissing, barking, and fighting, so their fed-up owner packs them off to obedience school. They enter Diabla Von Gloom's School for Wayward Pets with a self-proclaimed mutant supervillain rabbit and an intimidating bulldog who hates cats. Their teacher turns out to be patient and kind, helping to bring out the best in each pet as they go through familiar school activities: circle time, arts and crafts, show and tell, and so on. Kitty doesn't seem to have learned much in her day at school, but Miss Dee knows better -- and gets Kitty purring.


Is it any good?


Kitty certainly isn't a cuddly cat, by she shows here she really can be a good friend. This is another winning entry in Nick Bruel's Bad Kitty series. BAD KITTY SCHOOL DAZE will have kids howling with laughter, even as they absorb solid lessons on how to behave and why. They'll see the importance of kindness and empathy, even when it comes in a prickly package.

The bonus material explaining why cats and dogs are so famously incompatible underscores the book's message on redemption and the importance of trying to understand and appreciate each other.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how appearances can be deceiving. The gloomy-looking school turns out to be fun, scary-looking Petunia is actually a softy, and seemingly simple-minded Puppy is gifted in art and music. Is Kitty really bad?

  • Why do you think the Bad Kitty series is so popular? What's fun about a character who gets in trouble?

  • Have you ever found someone who appeared to be mean or unpleasant but turned out to be really nice or funny?


Book details

Author:Nick Bruel
Illustrator:Nick Bruel
Topics:Cats, dogs, and mice, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:January 8, 2013
Number of pages:160
Publisher's recommended age(s):7 - 10
Read aloud:7 - 10
Read alone:7 - 10
Available on:Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of Bad Kitty School Daze was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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