The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
Meet Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Snake. They want to convince the world (and definitely their readers) that they are not Bad Guys. Mr. Wolf, a spokesperson of sorts, talks directly to his audience in this part beginning chapter book, part graphic novel. While he admits his rap sheet ( a full-page illustration) shows him to have had some unfortunate and misunderstood run-ins with Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs, he insists he is actually a Good Guy. In order to make a more convincing case, he embarks on a quest with a few of his carnivorous friends who hold similar reputations (and equally long rap sheets). As they rescue a cat from a tree, the illustrations are hilarious, with exaggerated sharp teeth and wide grins, the Guys terrify–but rescue–the kitty. Then a larger rescue operation ensues. It reminds me of Aaron Reynolds’s Carnivores (See Carnivores, A Review)and Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and would make a great readaloud for the primary grades. And it looks to be a series, with a couple of new adventures coming out this year for our four Bad–I mean Good–Guys!