Nick Bruel Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
wife's name Carina.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Roaring Brook Press, 2 Old New Milford Rd., Brookfield, CT 06804.
Cartoonist and children's book author.
Top-ten finalist, Dr. Seuss Picture-Book Contest, 1993.
Boing, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2004.
Bad Kitty, Roaring Brook Press (New Milford, CT), 2005.
Also author of How to Be a Real Good Cartoonist, 2003. Contributor to Syncopated Comics.
Author and cartoonist Nick Bruel brings his quirky sense of humor to bear on children's literature in the picture books Boing and Bad Kitty. Dubbed a "bouncy solo debut" by a Kirkus Reviews contributor, Boing fol-
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lows a young kangaroo as he learns how to jump from his mother. Despite being cheered on by his animal friends rabbit, frog, koala, and grasshopper, the young kanga's hop turns into a flop every time, until it is discovered that he has stuffed his pouch too full of treasures to become sufficiently airborne. Praising the book for its "sunny watercolor and ink cartoons" and its toddler appeal, Horn Book contributor Christine Heppermann added that Boing "is an accomplishment designed to have preschoolers springing from their seats." A Publishers Weekly writer agreed, noting that because "Bruel's cartoons brim with energy and emotion," Boing is "not a book for bedtime."
A delightful romp disguised as an alphabet book, Bad Kitty finds the family cat perplexed when she realizes that her owners have run out of cat food, and when she learns that the only edibles around are both healthy and nutritious, her mood quickly goes from bad to worse. Kitty turns her nose up at the alphabetical array of foods, ranging from asparagus to zucchini, and retaliates with typical bad-cat abandon. Finally her repentant owners restock the kitchen with her favorites, including anchovies, shark sushi, and baked zebra ziti, and bad kitty is transformed into a very, very good kitty. "Even readers who've mastered their ABCs will laugh at Bruel's gleefully composed litanies and the can-you-top-this spirit that animates every page," commented a Publishers Weekly critic, while School Library Journal reviewer Maura Bresnahan concluded that Bad Kitty "will appeal to youngsters who like their stories more naughty than nice." In Kirkus Reviews a contributor predicted that "Even the alphabet-experienced will love this bad, bad kitty!," while Bookpage.com reviewer Lynn Beckwith observed that "Bruel has created a joyfully silly portrait of a picky eater with attitude."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Horn Book, January-February, 2005, Christina M. Heppermann, review of Boing, p. 72.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2004, review of Boing!, p. 1002; September 15, 2005, review of Bad Kitty, p. 1022.
Publishers Weekly, August 30, 2004, review of Boing, p. 53; October 17, 2005, review of Bad Kitty, p. 66.
School Library Journal, October, 2005, Maura Bresnahan, review of Bad Kitty, p. 109.
Nick Bruel Web site, http://www.nickbruel.com/ (January 24, 2006).
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