Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Bad Kitty Christmas - And the "Concerned Grandparent" Who Wants To Burn It (Because it includes, among MANY other family configurations, a two mom family)

A Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruel

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the city, not a creature was stirring... Except for Bad Kitty.

The Angel was Ambushed.
The Books were all Bumped.
The Cards were all Crushed.
The Drums were all Dumped.

When a greedy Bad Kitty doesn't get all the presents she wants for Christmas, she takes off on a wild caper across town and through three complete alphabets. Along the way she makes a new friend, and when and old "friend" finds her, together they learn the true meaning of Christmas. Or not.

I'm featuring "A Bad Kitty Christmas" for two reasons.  One, it's a picture book I wish had been read to me when I was a little kid, because it includes a two-mom family.  And two, it's the kind of book that, because it includes a two-mom family, is getting some people upset.

Like the "Concerned Grandparent" who wrote the author to complain and say that because of the reference to Niece Nan with her Offspring Oscar and her Partner Pam,

"I will be purchasing and burning that book and any other that I come across with such a reference in it if I can not get the school to remove the book from their library.
Shame on you for writing this in your book for little kids to read and forcing us to explain this matter to them."

Nick's response, which he shared on facebook (as he did the complaint letter) was great, and included this:

"When I first began writing “A Bad Kitty Christmas” a few years ago I recognized that there would be people - such as yourself - who would be offended. I recognized that. So I debated with myself. I debated about whose interests would best be served. Do I edit myself to appease people who could be so outraged that they might even do something as drastic as to BURN a book? Or do I write a book that could potentially speak to that kid out there who actually has two Mommies. That kid won, because -- like it or not, Concerned Grandparent -- believe it or not, Concerned Grandparent – that kid exists. In fact, there are a lot of those kids. And those kids deserve to see their world represented in a mainstream book as much as any other kid out there."

Thank you, Nick, for writing this book.

This is a great reminder of why Banned Books Week is so important. We need to talk about the urge to destroy and hide and ban and even burn books with ideas and voices and characters we don't agree with.

If we feel confident in the strength of our beliefs, shouldn't we be able to accept others having the right to their beliefs?

Let's celebrate the right to read!

Add your review of "A Bad Kitty Christmas" in comments.

p.s. - My thanks to Dana Elmendorf for the heads-up about this book including a two mom family!


Book Dragon said...

My kids are older so Bad Kitty isn't on my must buy list even though I do like picture books. I'll buy this one, in support of the two mom family, just like I bought A Different Dragon.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

"forcing us to explain this matter to them"

Here's the explanation. "Nan and Pam love each other."

Explanation done. And without resorting to anything so dramatic or smoky as fire, either!

Dana Elmendorf said...

Wow, I hadn't done my research far enough on the book to read this extreme complaint. What I think Concerned Grandparent failed to realize is that purchasing this book increased the sales, hence creating more demand for the book from the publisher and more money in the author's pocket to write more books like this. Which I hope Nick does.