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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Nick Bruel, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 11 of 11
1. Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet

It's often a challenge getting one of my cats to the vet (a broken lamp springs to mind) so it's easy to sympathize with Bad Kitty's owner in the latest addition to the Bad Kitty canon. Feeling under the weather, Kitty has been refusing her kibble, a sure sign of feline distress. Her strength rebounds, however, when it's time for her to go into her carrier. As always, Bruel has a sure hand with slapstick and readers will howl as Kitty and her owner battle it out. At last she's inside and it's off to the vet.

In perhaps one of the more unusual plot advances in a chapter book, Kitty is sedated to have a tooth extracted and travels to the cat version of the Pearly Gates. Refused entrance because of her past misdeeds to poor Puppy, Kitty is given 24 hours to redeem herself. All she has to do is perform one act of unconditional kindness to Puppy. This proves harder than expected and it comes down to the final seconds. Will Kitty gain admittance to Pussycat Paradise or will she land in Puppydog Paradise and be chased and bitten for all eternity? Or is her predicament just a dream?

Bruel keeps the action rolling and Kitty's fate up in the air till the end. Along with providing a rip roaring story, the book has several of Uncle Murray's fun fact sheets, which give tips such as how to tell if your cat is sick and explains what vets are and what they do.

Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet
by Nick Bruel
Roaring Book Press  144 pages
Published: January, 2016

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2. Katie Davis Creates a Video in Honor of Picture Book Month

Happy Picture Book Month! Author Katie Davis has collected wise words from several well-known writers for a video that addresses the following question: What is a Picture Book?

The video embedded above features artwork and quotes from Jerry Pinkney, Nick Bruel, Victoria Kann, and more. To date, it has drawn over 10,000 views on YouTube.

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3. Book Expo America: Part I

Like many others I attended Book Expo America, but unlike many others I needed another week to recover before writing about it. I also needed a full week to get my voice back, but that's another part of the story.

Being from the Washington, DC area I was able to take advantage of a full range of choices of express bus services to New York, including Bolt Bus which drops off and picks up a block from Javits. We had a winner! The easy drop off before 2:00p.m. on Wednesday got me registered at BEA with my suitcase checked and still in time to make one of my priority author signing sessions, Tim Federle at 2:30p.m. I love his books, his Twitter feed, and - from the one time I chatted with him in Alexandria - him, so I was excited to get his new picture book, Tommy Can't Stop. Though I thought I would miss it, I had enough time to get Space Taxi: Archie Takes Flight signed by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer. I also hopped in line to pick up Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet, by Nick Bruel - who signs with a little kitty drawing. I had added a book selection for my singer teen, VIP: I'm With the Band, by Jen Calonita.

With four great author signings done so quickly, I couldn't believe my luck when a book that I had seen online and hoped to purchase happened to be available at the next table. That was pretty cool. So I brought home a little bit of self-help in Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Wendy Suzuki. I also picked up an abandoned copy of The Song Machine, just because I could.

I had allotted myself time to wait in line for Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi, and wait I did. But it wasn't as bad as I expected - especially given that I ran into blogger and online buddy Emily Mitchell. We chatted a bit, the line moved quickly, and I got my book, poster and photo opportunity. The Story of Diva and Flea takes place in Paris, and the poster has that French feeling to it. Mo looked good from his year on sabbatical, which I believe I told him. Afterwards I got to talk more with Emily and her co-workers, and even got another brief chat with Mo about our kids. Almost like a normal person would do.
I'm sure I picked up a few more books along the way, but I was trying to stick to the signings where I wouldn't talk as much and save my strained vocal cords. My evening was a low-key visit with my rookie Liz Burns and our friend Jackie Parker-Robinson and her husband, Kyle. Then an early bedtime for two big days coming...

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

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4. A Wonderful Year

In his new book, Nick Bruel takes us through all four seasons of one particular (funny, sometimes sweet, sometimes nutso) year. A Wonderful Year is packed full of deadpan wackiness, unexpected turns, and, of course, a purple hippo named Louise. Books mentioned in this post A Wonderful Year Nick Bruel Sale Hardcover $12.59

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5. What’s Your Favorite Animal?, by Eric Carle | Book Review

In Eric Carle’s What’s Your Favorite Animal, he collaborates with fourteen renowned children’s book artists to create mini storybooks about a favorite animal.

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6. Bad Kitty: School Daze

Bad Kitty's back and she's badder than ever, if that's possible. This time she's off to school to deal with her behavior problems. Puppy goes along to get his drooling under control. What I like best about these graphic easy-to-read novels are the zany details and the way things never turn out the expected way. For instance, before Kitty heads off for her first day, her family presents her with a complete line of Love Love Angel Kitten school supplies, including backpack, notebook, eraser, calculator, bowling ball, cinder block, and tractor tire--with spot illustrations of each one. Clearly a spoof on the Hello Kitty craze, the items point up how much Bad Kitty is the antithesis of all that saccharine goodness.

When the school bus finally pulls up to the Diabla Von Gloom's School for Wayward Pets, the building is a stereotypical Addams house of horrors. The next spread shows the door creaking open and the shadow of a monstrous crone with sharp fangs and long talons. Turn the page and the shadow is an illusion formed by a young, attractive teacher holding an assortment of books, boxes, and pencils.

The kindly teacher is determined to get Bad Kitty to reveal what she's so angry about, but the cat's a tough cookie and won't crack. Besides she has more pressing problems--like a scary bulldog who hates cats. Luckily Bad Kitty has managed to convince Petunia that she's a cow.

As always, Uncle Murray checks in with his Fun Facts spreads. This time around the topic centers on why dogs and cats don't get along.

Graduation takes place at the end of the first day--it's a very short semester--and each animal student has to demonstrate what he or she has learned. Will Bad Kitty carry away a diploma? Don't bet on it, but an amusing epilogue suggests that school wasn't so awful after all.

Bad Kitty: School Daze
by Nick Bruel
Roaring Book Press, 160 pages
Published: January 2013

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7. KBWT - Lititz Kid-Lit Festival

So today I am featuring a local - sort of - Children's Book Festival - the Lititz Kid Lit Festival.

The line-up of authors showing up for this event is awesome - Nick Bruel, A. S. King, Daniel Kirk, Amy Ignatow, Michael Beil and more.  Saturday looks like the day to attend.  Guess who is working at my very part-time job that weekend?   Sigh.  

For people unfamiliar with PA, that's where Lititz is - in Lancaster County, Amish Country.  While in Lititz, visit the Wilbur Chocolate factory and the Sturgis pretzel factory.   The festival is sponsored by Aaron's Books on Main Street in Lititz.  Stop by and say thank you!

If you decide to attend the whole weekend, I'd like to suggest the Forgotten Seasons B and B, about a mile out of town.  It's so cozy and welcoming. 

BTW, for actual book related websites - it is Tuesday, you know - check out Nick Bruel's website(s) and Daniel Kirk's website (for the picture book crowd) to say nothing of Amy's, A. S.'s and Michael's websites (for middle grade and YA readers).  They all offer something fun and cool.

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8. 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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9. Bad Kitty Author Nick Bruel on Politics, Writing & Illustrating

Forget Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich! Children’s author Nick Bruel has cast the “purrfect” candidate in his latest chapter book: Bad Kitty for President. We’ve embedded the book trailer above.

We caught up with Bruel to ask a few questions about politics, writing and illustrating.

Q: With your latest title, Bad Kitty for President, why did you decide to touch on such a
topical event?
A: I find politics in general to be a very weird, absurd, and sort of wonderful creature in this country. As Americans I think we have a propensity to take politics too seriously (myself included), but at the same time I don’t think many Americans understand our political system as much as they should. It’s a bit like watching a full season of baseball but never really understanding the rules of the game.


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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10. Review of the Day: Nursery Rhyme Comics edited by Chris Duffy

Nursery Rhyme Comics
Edited by Chris Duffy
Introduction by Leonard S. Marcus
ISBN: 978-1-59643-600-8
Ages 9-12
On shelves October 11, 2011

Nursery rhymes. What’s up with that? (I feel like a stand up comedian when I put it that way). They’re ubiquitous but nonsensical. Culturally relevant but often of unknown origins. Children’s literary scholar Leonard Marcus ponders the amazing shelf life of nursery rhymes himself and comes up with some answers. Why is it that they last as long as they do in the public consciousness? Marcus speculates that “the old-chestnut rhymes that beguile in part by sounding so emphatically clear about themselves while in fact leaving almost everything to our imagination” leave themselves open to interpretation. And who better to do a little interpreting than cartoonists? Including as many variegated styles as could be conceivably collected in a single 128-page book, editor Chris Duffy plucks from the cream of the children’s graphic novel crop (and beyond!) to create a collection so packed with detail and delight that you’ll find yourself flipping to the beginning to read it all over again after you’re done. Mind you, I wouldn’t go handing this to a three-year-old any time soon, but for a certain kind of child, this crazy little concoction is going to just the right bit of weirdness they require.

Fifty artists are handed a nursery rhyme apiece. The goal? Illustrate said poem. Give it a bit of flair. Put in a plot if you have to. So it is that a breed of all new comics, those of the nursery ilk, fill this book. Here at last you can see David Macaulay bring his architectural genius to “London Bridge is Falling Down” or Roz Chast give “There Was a Crooked Man” a positive spin. Leonard Marcus offers an introduction giving credence to this all new coming together of text and image while in the back of the book editor Chris Duffy discusses the rhymes’ history and meaning. And as he says in the end, “We’re just letting history take its course.”

In the interest of public scrutiny, the complete list of artists on this book consists of Nick Abadzis, Andrew Arnold, Kate Beaton, Vera Brosgol, Nick Bruel, Scott Campbell, Lilli Carre, Roz Chast, JP Coovert, Jordan Crane, Rebecca Dart, Eleanor Davis, Vanessa Davis, Theo Ellsworth, Matt Forsythe, Jules Feiffer, Bob Flynn, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Ben Hatke, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Lucy Knisley, David Macaulay, Mark Martin, Patrick McDonnell, Mike Mignola, Tony Millionaire, Tao Nyeu, George O’Connor, Mo Oh, Eric Orchard, Laura Park, Cyril Pedrosa, Lark Pien, Aaron Renier, Dave Roman, Marc Rosenthal, Stan Sakai, Richard Sala, Mark Siegel, James Sturm, Raina Telgemeier, Craig Thompson, Richard Thompson, Sara Varon, Jen Wang, Drew Weing, Gahan Wilson, Gene Luen Yang, and Stephanie Yue (whew!). And as with any collection, some of the inclusions are going to be stronger than others. Generally speaking if fifty people do something, some of them are going to have a better grasp on the process than others. That said, only a few of these versions didn’t do it for me. At worst the versions were mediocre. At best they went in a new direction with their mat

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11. 2011 Children’s Choice Book Awards

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: March 25, 2010

May 2-8, 2011, is Children’s Book Week. Each year, during this week, The Children’s Book Council hosts the Children’s Choice Book Awards. These are the best awards because the children are given a voice! I highly recommend checking out the thirty books that have been nominated for the six categories: k-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, Teens, and author of the year. Then, along with your kids or classroom, go and vote for their favorite(s)—you have until April 29. The winners will be announced on May 2 at the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala.

This year’s Children’s Choice Book Award finalists are as follows:

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year

Shark vs. Train

by Chris Barton (Author), Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: Shark VS. Train! WHO WILL WIN?!

If you think Superman vs. Batman would be an exciting matchup, wait until you see Shark vs. Train. In this hilarious and wacky picture book, Shark and Train egg each other on for one competition after another, including burping, bowling, Ping Pong, piano playing, pie eating, and many more! Who do YOU think will win, Shark or Train?

Add this book to your collection: Shark vs. Train

How Rocket Learned to Read

by Tad Hills

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; 1 edition (July 27, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!

With a story that makes reading fun—and wil

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