Good Night, Baddies
by Deborah Underwood
illustrated by Juli Kangas
Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster, 2016
Your local library
With charming rhymes, Underwood creates a scene where fairytale villains come together at the end of a long day to share dinner and bedtime stories. The baddies really shine when given a chance.
Baddies sit politely dining,The evil queen puts on pajamas, while the wolves brush their teeth (well, their fangs). The sweet rhymes and soft illustrations contrast perfectly with baddies' reputation--who would think that the troll enjoys a bubble bath after a hard day waiting for the three billy goats gruff?
no one throwing food or whining.
All day long they must be vile;
now, at night, they chat and smile.
|"Evil queen, take off your crown;|
trade pajamas for your gown.
Tuck your poisoned fruit away.
Find Snow White another day."
Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker: A Peek-Through StoryYoung Lucy chases her dog through fairy tale lands, dodging bad guys along the way. Even before you get to the title page, young Lucy asks her dog, "Do you want to hear a story, Mr. Barker?" But the pup is distracted by a butterfly, and takes off out of the open window. When Lucy follows him, she enters one new fairytale world after another -- and readers must guess (along with Lucy) where she is.
by Jessica Ahlberg
Your local library
|"Where are we?" asked Lucy. She saw a broken chair, three bowls of porridge, and a little golden-haired girl."|
In each new scene, she provides just enough clues for readers to guess which tale Lucy has entered. This encourages young readers to take part in the story, actively engaging with the text. Jessica Ahlberg is the daughter of Allan and Janet Ahlberg, whose classic The Jolly Postman is one of my all-time favorite fairytale mashups. Jessica told Publisher Weekly,
“I think fairy tales are a great shared knowledge, and so if you assume prior knowledge you can play with expectations or make it into a guessing game, as I did in Mr. Barker. I think the fact that the tales are ‘universal’ gives the child reader power. I think it can be fun for them to spot changes, or mistakes, or to know what’s going to happen next. It gives them a bit of control, perhaps. Similarly, my protagonist is able to help the fairy tale people she meets, because she knows their stories and knows what’s going to happen before they do.”It is interesting that both books draw only from European folktales and fairytales. The illustrations show mainly white characters, although Ahlberg draws both Lucy and Sleeping Beauty with brown hair and slightly darker skin tones.
The review copies were kindly sent by the publishers, Time, Inc. (via BlueSlip Media) and Capstone Books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.
©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books