• Happy birthday Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted), Elizabeth Hall (Child of the Wolves) and David McRobbie (A Whole Lot of Wayne).
  • It’s the birth date of Elizabeth Enright (1909-1968) Thimble Summer, Gone-Away Lake.
  • In 642 A.D. the Library of Alexandria was destroyed. Read The Library of Alexandria by Kelly Trumble, illustrated by Rabina MacIntyre Marshall.
  • The United States constitution was adopted in 1787. Hence, it is Constitution Day and the start of Constitution week. Read The U.S. Constitution by Kathy Allen.
  • On this day in 1796, the first U.S. president, George Washington, delivers his farewell address. Read George Washington’s Socks by Elvira Woodruff and George Washington’s Breakfast by Jean Fritz, illustrated by Paul Galdone.
  • It’s International Eat an Apple Day. Read One Green Apple by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ted Lewin, and The Apple and the Arrow by Mary and Conrad Buff.

September has been designated Happy Cat Month. But the cat featured in our book of the day isn’t really happy. In fact, her owners have found a way to make her extremely miserable—by giving Bad Kitty a bath. I believe, however, that Nick Bruel, Bad Kitty’s creator, must certainly be laughing as he works on Bad Kitty’s saga. For in titles like Bad Kitty Gets a Bath and Bad Kitty Meets the Baby, Nick has developed a winning formula, making these books among the most popular graphic novels for children.

Bad Kitty actually made her debut in a picture book. With years as a children’s bookseller at New York’s Books of Wonder, Nick knew that good chapter books, that first step into reading, were hard to find. And so rather than taking Bad Kitty and making her the star of a board book, as others might have, Nick brought his character into a book for older children, those just learning to read. The combination of Bad Kitty, with her electric energy and zany antics, and a longer format to extend the story made the perfect combination. It also allowed Nick to create a book of “128 pages of pure Kitty-induced mayhem.”

In Bad Kitty Gets a Bath, our feline friend gets very dirty and needs a bath. In the first chapter, the text tells readers that cats hate baths. Another chapter gives instructions to the person who is going to administer the bath—it recommends having an ambulance waiting with the engine running. Then the narrator tries different approaches—pleading, reverse psychology, and cajoling—to get Bad Kitty in the bath. None of the strategies work. Finally, Bad Kitty gets deposited in the bathtub. Humorous notes from Nick’s editor Neal Porter sprinkle the text—“what Kitty says is so horrible and repulsive that we could all go to jail for the rest of our lives if this was printed.”

Children love the mayhem created by Bad Kitty. Of course, the personality of this character is basically that of a little kid. Laugh-out-loud funny, with energetic drawings, the book brings demands for many readings. It might also deter any parent or child from giving a cat a bath. Hence your cat will be more likely to have a Happy Cat Month after you read this book!

If you know one of the many young readers who adore this character, there are many more volumes in the series—including the forthcoming Bad Kitty for President. I can hardly wait for that one myself.

Here’s a page from Bad Kitty Gets a Bath:


Originally posted September 17, 2011. Updated for .

Tags: Animals, Cats, Humor
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Bad Kitty Gets a Bath


  1. Can’t keep them on the shelf!

  2. Sally says:

    Another wonderful book! Love Nick Bruel.

  3. Any of these fun BAD KITTY books by Nick are just beloved when I read at school.
    Total delight time, to read them out loud.

  4. Trevor Rollins says:

    Nice book

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