Posted in Graphic Novels, Intermediate

Bad Kitty is SUPERCAT!

Bad Kitty: Supercat, by Nick Bruel, (Dec. 2022, Roaring Brook Press), $13.99, ISBN: 9781250749987

Ages 7-10

It’s always a good day when there’s a new Bad Kitty book! Supercat is the latest Bad Kitty graphic novel, where Bad Kitty is forced to endure a playdate in an attempt to be sociable. Strange Kitty brings along some superhero-loving, comic book-reading friends, and the group don their costumes to become Supercat and Fantasticat, and find themselves fighting the evil Doctor Lagomorph with the universe hanging in the balance! With sidekicks and laugh-out-loud pop culture references throughout, this may be my favorite Bad Kitty yet. Kids and grownups alike will recognize the familiar call to put the devices down and go play with friends. Hilarious and relatable moments include Bad Kitty’s playdate choices and the spot-on comic book story reenactments, as envisioned by the friends; every kid will remember a playdate gone sideways when the playdate gets rough and feelings are hurt; Bad Kitty and friends teach readers that things will happen, but it’s always important to apologize. Another adorable entry in a series that makes a seamless transition from chapter book to graphic novel.

Posted in Animal Fiction, Early Reader, Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate

Ginger Green, Playdate Queen, meets The Crazy Friend!

The Crazy Friend (Ginger Green), by Kim Kane/Illustrated by Jon Davis, (Apr. 2018, Capstone), $5.95, ISBN: 9781515819479

Recommended for readers 6-8

Ginger Green is the 7 year-old playdate queen! But when she invites Maisy over to play, she may have taken on more than she (or her mother) have bargained for. Maisy is out of control, and she takes Ginger’s little sister, Penny, with her! Maisy needs to figure out how to turn this playdate around, super-fast!

Every caregiver has had at least one playdate like this. Maybe it’s even your little one that strips down to his or her underwear and takes off through a friend’s house. Parents – and kids! – will sympathize with Ginger and her mom, who are taken by surprise by a playdate that is anything but expected. For parents and caregivers, The Crazy Friend provides an interesting look at kids’ behavior without knowing what’s behind it: is Maisy just a badly behaving child, or is there something more to the situation that neither Ginger nor her mom are aware of? There are some cues in the text that could lead readers to believe Maisy has some impulse control/ADHD-type behaviors. Ginger and her mom are frustrated (and I’m a little mortified that Maisy’s mom was all too quick to leave her daughter for someone else to contend with), but each decides to embrace the situation and work toward a solution that will save the playdate for everyone.

The Crazy Friend provides teachable moments and the chance for discussion. There are three short chapters, illustrated in two-color purple and white, and can easily fit in either an Easy Reader or intermediate section. There are currently four Ginger Green books available through Capstone in the US; in the author’s native Australia, there are 11.