Good Night, Baddies - by Deborah Underwood (Hardcover)

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From the title page, where the Big Bad Wolf shows all of his sharp teeth in an enormous yawn outside of the Three Little Pigs' house, we see that this is clearly a different perspective on some of the meanest characters around. A very fatigued looking giant lumbers after Jack, and witches, wolves, and others make their way to a bat-bedecked castle at sunset: "Queen and dragon, troll and gnome: / tired baddies head for home." We see them sitting companionably around a dinner table passing food to each other and looking happy to be together. Then it's time to get ready for bed: while a wolf in striped pajamas squeezes toothpaste onto his toothbrush, the text says: "Wolves, today was not so good. / You didn't catch Red Riding Hood. / You huffed and puffed without success. / But brush your fangs, please, nonetheless." Underwood's rhyming text keeps extending the story in creative ways, describing a giant who's scared that a princess may be hiding under his bed, for example, and a dragon and wolf who "sing a baddie lullaby." With illustrations filling each large page, Kangas uses an unusual technique of watercolors with oil washes to create vibrant colors with a lot of depth. The baddie castle looks like a cozy place, especially with such caring friends, and the story may give children a new perspective on viewing others.--Horn Book Magazine "May/June 2016" Gender: unisex.

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