Good Night Baddies – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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good nightTitle: Good Night Baddies

Author: Deborah Underwood

Illustrator: Juli Kangas

Publisher: Beach Lane Books, 2016

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Fairytale baddies, good hearts, humor

Review copy from publisher.


Sun dips down; the day has gone.
Witches, wolves, and giants yawn.

Queen and dragon, troll and gnome:
tired baddies head for home.


A bookful of classic fairytale antagonists (giants, dragons, wolves, witches…) gather together at the end of a long day of evildoing to enjoy a civilized and polite evening of diner, and sweet bedtime stories and sweet slumber before rising for another day of mischief.

Why I like this book:

Deborah Underwood writes this cheekily subversive story in slick rhyme upending the classic interpretation children will have of their favorite picture book/folk tale baddies. Seeing a wolf in his PJ’s brushing his teeth, a witch checking under the fearful giant’s bed that there are no lurking princesses, or a dragon with his snuggie listening to a gnome reading a sweet bedtime story will delight young readers who adore twists and surprises in their stories.

The fabulous subliminal message that there’s good in all of us won’t be lost either on young minds. My favorite spread is the Billy Goats Gruff troll chilling in a very bubbly bath while a number of other baddies wait patiently outside the bathroom door. The illustrations are bold, bad and full of soft critter humor set in the nighttime castle.

This is a read-aloud that you’ll happily repeat and fits perfectly into any unit on fairytales, fractured or otherwise. The rhyme is as tight as a pair of braces, but never trite and just as smart as her previous rhyming picture book, INTERSTELLAR CINDERELLA.

You may never again see the baddies in the same light after reading this!

Baddies 9

© Juli Kangas


Imagine some other famous bad guys and their nighttime routines! It can be your favorite anti-hero from a cartoon. book, movie..

Check out this cool trailer by the multi-talented author.

Song link:

Author’s website:

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.


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10 Responses to Good Night Baddies – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. I can’t wait to read Underwood’s new book. The rhyming looks like fun and I adore the illustrations. Love your description about Goodnight Baddies being a cheeky subversive story! Sounds perfect.

  2. This book looks awesome! Love the concept! I am excited there is a copy at my library. Great review!

  3. This looks so fun! I love Deb’s books…. gonna put this on my library request list.

  4. Wendy Greenley says:

    Will be looking for this one! Rhyming is such an art and love the villian vibe.

  5. Chattytcp says:

    Sounds adorable! I love the idea of “Baddies”

  6. This one sounds fantastic! The illustrations are so three dimensional. Will check it out!

  7. There’s nothing better than subversive! Deborah’s one of my favorite PB authors.
    Thanks, Joanna!!

  8. Darn, I have to wait to get this book at my library! At least I put the request in. I’m looking forward to reading this book. It looks like a real gem!

  9. Barbara says:

    Oh my goodness! Such a great find. I HAVE to have this book:)

  10. I love the sound of this book – right up my street – thank you for highlighting it 🙂

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