Thursday, December 29, 2011

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge: Cats for Christmas

A Bad Kitty Christmas
written and illustrated by Nick Bruel
Roaring Brook Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59643-668-8
Grades 1-5
Reviewed from purchased copy.

BLURBA HILARIOUS NEW HOLIDAY PICTURE BOOK ABOUT EVERYONE'S FAVORITE NAUGHTY FELINE "Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the city, not a creature was stirring...Except for BAD KITTY." A greedy Bad Kitty didn't get all the presents she wanted for Christmas, but after she goes on a Christmas caper across town and through multiple alphabets, she makes a new friend, finds an old friend, and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Or not. Nick Bruel's first picture book about Bad Kitty since the uproarious Poor Puppy in 2007 is full of rhyming mayhem... and Christmas cheer.

I have enjoyed all the Bad Kitty books, but I think this one is my favorite.  Maybe because Bad Kitty for the first time, thinks of someone besides herself (a temporary fluke I'm sure).  Once again, the way Bruel uses the alphabet three times in one book is amazing, but it does slow the book down a bit.  I read this to several groups of kindergartners and I think it was a bit overlong.  But first and second graders should enjoy it nicely.  The Bad Kitty books, both picture books and chapter books (graphic novels?) fly off my library shelves.  This would also be a creative way to encourage older students to make alphabet books themselves.  A fun addition to the Bad Kitty series, bound to be enjoyed by any cat fan.

Just a note, there is one spot where the old lady is talking about her family and mentions a family with two mothers.  I wasn't thrilled to see this because of my own beliefs but at the same time many children are bound to have contact with family situations different than their own and this creates an opportunity for discussion if you so choose, but when I read the book to my students, I don't think the students even noticed it.  If they had noticed it I would have simply pointed out that not everyone has the same beliefs or family situation.

Merry Christmas, Splat
written and illustrated by Rob Scotton
HarperCollins Publishers, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-083160-8
Grades K-3
Reviewed from purchased copy.

BLURBIt's the night before Christmas, and Splat wonders if he's been a good enough cat this year to deserve a really big present. Just to make sure, he offers some last-minute help to his mom and, in typical Splat fashion, he messes up completely! That night Splat stays awake hoping to see Santa Claus. But when Splat misses him, he's sure his Christmas is ruined—along with his hopes for a really big present. . . .Everyone's favorite furry cat is back in a Christmas story perfect for any child anxiously awaiting Santa's arrival.  


I am a Splat fan.  I find him amusing and reading any of the Splat books makes me smile.  The children that I have shared this and other Splat books with have enjoyed them as well.  In this story the part I enjoy the most is when Splat is trying to 'help' his mother to prove how nice he is for Santa.  This reminds me of having watched my nephew's attempts to help my sister.  I have to admire her patience in letting him help even though she could get things done easier and faster on her own.  She is both teaching and allowing him to learn to do things on his own, a challenging part of being a parent or a teacher.  Anyway, when I read this to my students they seem to enjoy the part where Splat tries to see Santa but misses him completely.  All in all a fun holiday read.

READ TO ME PICTURE BOOK CHALLENGE:
Watering Level: 25 completed of 36

1 comment:

  1. Both books look like fun reads. Picture books can be good places to encounter situations that might not be in line with our beliefs. It gives a chance to discuss them with our children in a nuetral context. It is also a good opportunity to work on the cocepts of charity and love to all people- not just the ones we agree with. I think kids can easily get confused there. Although, I would avoid such encounters if I was reading to children other than my own. Thanks for sharing! I have enjoyed reading your contributions to the picture book challenge.

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