cover image  Bad Kitty

Bad Kitty

Nick Bruel, . . Roaring Brook/Porter, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-069-3

With the alphabet as his jumping off point, Bruel (Boing! ) recounts just how far things can go awry when cats go bad. After Kitty discovers that the only food in the house consists of 26 kinds of vegetables (asparagus, beets, cauliflower and on through zucchini), her mood turns blacker than her scraggly fur coat. She unleashes her own alphabet of woe that will have youngsters howling with laughter (and cat owners young and old will understand that many of these scenarios do not require a total suspension of disbelief). Bruel chronicles the misbehavior by dividing the spreads into eight strips, each containing a kind of visual one-liner devoted to a single letter. "She... Q uarreled with our neighbors," the author writes, as Kitty watches through the mail slot while a human holds a note that reads, "Meow Hiss Hiss...!" The furry protagonist even "Sold my toys" (Kitty seems to have appropriated her unseen owner's lemonade stand for this purpose). But when the humans restock the larder with cat-friendly food (rhino ravioli, shark sushi, etc.), the feline turns over a new leaf—in alphabetical fashion, of course. Even readers who've mastered their ABCs will laugh at Bruel's gleefully composed litanies and the can-you-top-this spirit that animates every page. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)