Comments for Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble
Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble: 11/29/14
Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble by Nick Bruel is the latest of the Bad Kitty graphic novels. This one is a bit different because Bad Kitty is made aware of her creator in an effort to teach children how to write fiction.
Bruel begins the book by teaching how to draw Bad Kitty. There are spaces next to each step for a child to try his or her hand it. In my copy, those spaces are filled with my daughter's attempts.
It is from the drawing process that Bad Kitty eventually springs to life. And from there she begins to demand a place to be. Like in Duck Amuck (Chuck Jones, Warner Bros., 1953)
And through the artistic torture of Bad Kitty (wrong sets, bizarre situations, etc), Bruel teaches the basics of story telling. He includes a term I haven't seen in how to write books aimed at children — the MacGuffin. Interestingly, although it's a film term, the script writing teacher I had at UCLA, didn't use the term in his lectures.
Anyway, the MacGuffin isn't usually usually used as a way for the audience to torture the protagonist as it is in Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble, but it is sometimes personified. The best example of this personification is in the two part "Chicago Holiday" episodes that aired on November 10 and 17, 1994 of season one of Due South. While Fraser is trying to keep the Ambassador's daughter out of trouble (that she keeps putting herself into), Ray is trying to track down a list of names that will break a case open. They've been written on the inside of a matchbook which goes on its own crisscrossing journey of Chicago. Two of those characters are named MacGuffin: Mrs. MacGuffin, of hotel housekeeping, who takes the matchbook from the Ambassador's room and tosses it down the garbage shoot, and the store manager's name whose name tag in reverse reads "Mg. Uffin".
In the acknowledgements section, Nick Bruel doesn't include Due South, but he does point children to both Duck Amuck and it's sequel Rabbit Rampage (Chuck Jones, Warner Bros., 1955), and the grand-daddy of them all, Gertie the Dinosaur by Winsor McCay (1914)
This is a fun book for both children and parents, one that might inspire lots of video watching by both, and hopefully some story telling / story writing too.