Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bad Kitty for President

A candidate from the Right Side of the Street who:

Wants to throw those without homes into a volcano
Tries to buy votes (with a dead fish)
Goes ballistic on the opposing candidate
Uses a 527 Group to run attack ads
Refuses to debate on the issues

No, faithful readers, the candidate is not Newt Gingrich. It's Bad Kitty. Nick Bruel's feisty feline is back and this time she's running for office. After years of faithful service, Old Kitty is giving up his position as the President of the Neighborhood Cat Club. Bad Kitty is motivated to run for his position when stray cats from another area wander into her domain. Instead of erecting a giant fence to keep them out, Bad Kitty wants to toss the freeloaders into an active volcano.

The book's seven chapters are broken down into the steps of the electoral process, from the primaries to the results. Along the way, Bad Kitty does her best to upend the proceedings as she seeks endorsements, goes on the campaign trail, takes on the media, and debates her opponent, Big Kitty. When election day rolls around, the results are surprising, but satisfying. As Bruel tells Bad Kitty, "Democracy makes sure that EVERYONE has a chance to participate, that EVERYONE has a chance to win, and that EVERYONE has a chance to someday become the leader of his or her community." Let's hope he's right.

Once again, Bruel delivers a laugh-aloud chapter book that kids are sure to love. Besides telling a good story, the book provides a lot of factual information that goes down easy. For the most part, kids won't realize that they're learning a lot about the electoral process. The exceptions are the two Fun Facts spreads. Although Uncle Murray (Bad Kitty's backer) attempts to enliven things up, the presentation is a little heavy handed, especially for kids in the primary grades. Still, the story itself does an excellent job of showing how the system works. Bad Kitty for President gets my vote!

Here's GalleyCat's interview with Nick Bruel, along with a trailer for Bad Kitty for President.

Bad Kitty for President
by Nick Bruel
Roaring Brook Press, 144 pages
Published: January 2012

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