The Bad Guys: Episode 1 (Aaron Blabey, Scholastic)
Award-winning picture-book author Aaron Blabey turns his hand to junior chapter books with hilarious effect. Mr Wolf, one of the original bad guys from fairy legend, is tired of being typecast and wants to change his image. So he brings in a few friends—Mr Shark, Mr Snake and Mr Piranha, all the way from Bolivia—to start the Good Guys Club. But macho bad guys don’t transform easily into cuddly animal-rescuing heroes. When Mr Wolf and co do try to save a kitten, the poor creature is so terrified of their enormous teeth and bossy attitude that the rescue goes horribly and hilariously wrong. Blabey has ticked all the right boxes to encourage early and struggling readers—short chapters, lots of illustrations, cartoon-style panels, lashings of humour and occasional fart jokes. The Bad Guys is good-quality fun that will delight children.
Angela Crocombe is the children’s book buyer at Readings Carlton