Good Night, Baddies

illus. by Juli Kangas. 32p. S. & S./Beach Lane. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481409841.
PreS-Gr 2—It is easy to determine what monsters and villains in typical fairy tales are up to during the day. But what do they do at night? Do they get a chance to relax? This tale describes what witches, dragons, and trolls do when it is time to get ready for bed. The text and the lush illustrations show monsters, dragons, and even Rumpelstiltskin getting ready for bed and reading bedtime stories. There is even a giant checking under his bed for princesses. (They are so scary, you know!) This work is a subtle reminder that in life, we are all more alike than we are different. Kids will get a lot of giggles from seeing some familiar monsters in a more humanized way. Underwood's verse and Kangas's charming, expressive watercolor with oil wash artwork set just the right tone. "Underneath a starry sky,/sing a baddie lullaby./Day will bring more evil schemes./Good night, baddies…/sour dreams!" This title is a terrific way to introduce fairy tales and can be used to talk about the importance of reading.
VERDICT A thoroughly enjoyable offering that teachers and parents will have fun reading with children, especially at bedtime.

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