Good Night, Baddies
Written by Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by Juli Kangas
Beach Lane Books 5/17/2016
32 pages Ages 4—8
And big, bad wolves.
“By day they’re such baddies!
“But cozy at night
at home among friends?
Why, they couldn’t be nicer!
“Inspired by the mischief-makers from classic folk and fairy tales, here is a story about how even the baddest baddies can have big hearts.” [inside jacket]
The Big Bad Wolf blows the three pigs’ house down. The Giant chases Jack to get back his golden goose. Dragons capture princesses and fight off princes. It’s all in a day’s work for these baddies, but when bedtime calls them home, together they arrive at a big castle—home to all fairy tale villains. Bet you didn’t know that? I didn’t. Then I read Good Night, Baddies. These horrible baddies are total opposites once they get back home.
Baddies ask about each other’s day. They sit and eat a nice dinner. They smile and laugh, never once being cross or rude. Who are these characters?! Even the evil queen’s mirror dozes off at night. A bubble bath feels good to the troll, whose bunny slippers await his clean feet. Wolves all brush their teeth; better to catch Red Riding Hood or ruin a pig’s home. After a bedtime story and a glass of water, all the baddies go off to bed, saying good night as they head for their rooms.
The illustrations are beautiful and the baddies, dare I say, are adorable. Created using watercolors with an oil wash on top, the spreads have a slight grain effect, giving the illusion of softness and nighttime. Candlelight provides the only source light and a wonderful ambiance for this story. I love the expressions on these baddies’ faces. They smile. Yep, you read that correctly. They smile! As they dine and chat about their days, they smile. As they read, wait for a bath, or sit by the fire, they smile. The only character not smiling is the giant, but then he is scared (there could be a
monster good character under his bed, oh my!)
The rhyming scheme works well, is easy to read aloud, and fun.
“Bedtime now, but Giant’s scared.
Helpful witches come prepared.
Underneath the bed they peer—
nope, no princess hiding here!”
We think of the big Bad Wolf as a big, bad wolf because he is a big, bad wolf. Yet, once the sun sets, this big, bad wolf is a teddy bear with a family. Not even these ruthless fairy and folk tale villains are all bad. Each has some kindness within them. Everyone puts on pajamas, gnomes tuck in trolls, witches check under beds; a typical routine for both baddies and young children. Thanks to Good Night, Baddies, young children will now be able to relate to the villains they have always rooted against.
Good Night, Baddies is a clever take on bedtime. Children used to falling asleep to a story about nice characters and creatures will find Good Night, Baddies a fresh take on the bedtime story. I think it is hilarious. Between the rhyming text and the imaginative illustrations, parents and children will want to read about these baddies every night.
GOOD NIGHT, BADDIES. Text copyright © 2016 by Deborah Underwood. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Juli Kangas. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Beach Lane Books, New York, NY.
Find Good Night, Baddies on Goodreads HERE.
Juli Kangas: http://www.studiogoodwinsturges.com/juli-kangas.html
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Beach Lane Books is an imprint of Simon and Schuster.
Reprinted with permission from GOOD NIGHT, BADDIES. © 2016 by Deborah Underwood, Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, Illustrations © 2016 by Juli Kangas.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Good Night, Baddies by Deborah Underwood & Juli Kangas, and received from Beach Lane Books, (an imprint of Simon and Schuster), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”