Bad Kitty: Searching For Santa (Nick Bruel)

Hello, friends! Christmas is only days away – time to celebrate with some awesome Christmas titles! Our book today was Bad Kitty: Searching For Santa by Nick Bruel, the latest holiday adventure for the cantankerous cat.

Bad Kitty may not have been 100% good this year, but she thinks Santa will understand. After writing her letter to him, she insists that she must deliver it in person rather than by mail, so the narrator and reader follow along as she makes a journey to the store to get some facetime with the jolly old elf. Along the way, however, she sees lots and lots of Santas – a diverse mix of skintones, genders, and even species – imploring passersby to donate to charity with red buckets and “GIVE” signs. Bad Kitty doesn’t like this much, finding it confusing and overwhelming to have so many Santas, all of whom are clearly not the REAL Santa. When she finally makes her way to the store, she is crushed to find it closed. Stomping on her letter, she decides she does not like Santa anymore. But in the midst of a disappointing Christmas morning, Bad Kitty may just have her faith in Mr. Claus restored…

Bad Kitty can be an acquired taste at times – her capricious and occasionally naughty behavior can be a turn-off to some parents, but a hilarious joke to kids (though I do appreciate that the character is female, as boys are often given the lions share of “rebel” characters). It can also lead to some mixed messages, such as the idea that those seeking charitable donations are somehow trying to “trick” Kitty (though admittedly, the narrator refutes this). The main lesson here seems to be that Santa loves us all, even if we’re a little bad from time to time – it’s not a bad one, but I might have liked to see Bad Kitty donate to charity or show some measure of holiday spirit to earn Santa’s gift. However, JJ thought it was hilarious, and the illustrations are truly charming and expressive, including a lifelike octopus Santa that even inspired a laugh from me. So I would suggest giving this one a look and deciding if it’s right for you – and maybe adding that there’s nothing wrong with charity during the holidays. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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