BAD CAT PUTS ON HIS TOP HAT by Tracy-Lee McGuinness-Kelly


Age Range: 6 - 8
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Rotten Ralph’s soul mate, introduced in Bad Cat (2003), returns for more seeming mischief that always, as if by magic, turns into happy endings. Here, after piling food onto Mr. Sausagefinger’s griddle to create not a mess but a line of customers drawn by the aroma, he bounces a ball off Billy Bashface’s head. This leads the bully to reform, inspires an artist by splashing paint, foils a pair of jewel thieves and similar triumphs, before boogying off into the night, singing, “I’m Bad Cat, top hat cat, / dancing on my way, / to the twinkly lights in Stinkytown, / razzle-dazzle hey!” McGuinness-Kelly pours on the visual razzle-dazzle too, spinning Bad Cat, who looks like Fritz the Cat but with jack-o-lantern teeth, through a set of hyper-busy, loudly colored urban scenes. Young audiences will overlook the clunky prose (“ ‘Don’t go!’ he cried. ‘You’ve helped me to see that being a bully makes me unhappy!’ ”) to cheer on this exuberantly bad/good feline. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-316-60547-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2005