Good Night, Baddies – Perfect Picture Book Friday

2 Jun

I don’t know about you all, but I’m feeling a little sleepy. It’s near midnight. My mind is wandering, wondering what all those fairy tail bad guys do at night when they get home from terrorizing the likes of Snow White, Jack-in-the-Beanstalk, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, etc…during their day jobs. Thankfully, Deborah Underwood has written a book to answer just that question:

Awww, Wolfie has a pig stuffy!


Just look at that yawning wolf!


Poor, tired giant has worked up a sweat chasing that “awful Jack.”


Exhausted baddies heading home to the castle

“Sun dips down; the day is gone.

Witches, wolves, and giants yawn.

Queen and dragon, troll and gnome;

tired baddies head for home.”

Kids will end up sympathizing with those evil doers as they shed their bad selves like work clothes when they come home to the castle. The Troll washes his troubles away in a bubblebath. Wolves brush their fangs even though they haven’t caught Little Red Riding Hood or the Three Little Pigs.

And a blustering giant is scared of what he may find hiding under his bed. Now, what would you expect a giant to be afraid of, considering we’ve entered a world that has been turned on its head? I won’t spoil the surprise.

This lyrical story along with its watercolor and oil illustrations make me feel all warm and cozy, ready for dreamland. Deborah’s meter, rhyme, and word choices are spot on. Not a clinker in sight. And I love how she fearlessly uses the dreaded and much maligned semi-colon twice in the first stanza! Kudos, also, for the serial comma! Grammarians rejoice!

Yes, my friends, this one will be a bedtime favorite for everyone. Kids will love it for obvious reasons; parents will love it because they only have to read 221 words before tucking in their wee ones. But please give those sleepy little eyes extra time to savor the images before you turn out the lights and wish them sweet dreams.

TITLE: Good Night, Baddies

AUTHOR: Deborah Underwood


PUBLISHER: Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster)

PUB DATE: 2016

TARGET AGE: Toddler-Kindergarten

For more recommended picture books, visit Susanna Hill’s blog for Perfect Picture Book Friday.

25 Responses to “Good Night, Baddies – Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. Sue Morris @ KidLitReviews June 2, 2017 at 3:01 am #

    I love Deborah Underwood. And Good Night, Baddies is a wonderful off-kilter bedtime story. No more princesses and princes, no more Snow White or Little Red, just the bad guys, the villans, the monsters, and all the others we are not supposed to like–I like these guys!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 8:14 am #

      Me, too! And I think this book subtly lets kids know that even if they’re feeling like a “bad guy,” they’re still lovable “good guys” when they shed their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad selves.

  2. Leslie Leibhardt Goodman - Writer June 2, 2017 at 4:42 am #

    This sounds like a fairytale bedtime story boys will like, too. And so imaginative to take the baddies side. This sounds like a fun and funny book. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 8:17 am #

      I think this book appeals to a broad spectrum. It will also bring lots of giggles while helping settle down those kids who resist going to bed.

  3. Joanna June 2, 2017 at 5:37 am #

    Haha, love how you praise the semi colons! I also love this story and how baddies are portrayed in such a different light as they go to bed! Deborah has a six year old’s heart, that’s for sure.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 8:19 am #

      We all need to view the world from a different lens occasionally, don’t we? It helps build empathy, something I think Deborah does especially well. And yes, I’m thinking of writing a picture book in praise of the semi colon. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Ste J June 2, 2017 at 5:55 am #

    Cute! De-scarying the baddies is such a simple idea and I am sure parents will get more nights of sleep as a result. It’s nice to see the baddies are just a bit misunderstood as well.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 8:20 am #

      We’re all just a little bit misunderstood, don’t you think? Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Patricia Tilton June 2, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    I don’t know how I missed this entertaining book from Deborah Underwood! It is such a clever and off-beat idea for a PB. Love the illustrations!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 9:00 am #

      If anyone needs schooling in how a book incorporates a fresh perspective, this is a great one to use as a mentor text. The ending is surprising, yet inevitable and perfect. I guarantee that this book will get many, many, many hugs.

  6. Maria Marshall June 2, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    Jillian, I love this book. What a great concept and the illustrations are amazing. THanks for highlighting it.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      It’s so cool when an author comes up with a brilliant, promising idea and then creates something that follows through on the promise. This is the thing that agents and editors call “magic.” The thing they can’t really explain but know when they see it.

  7. julie rowan zoch June 2, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    I’ve heard of but never read this one – thanks for making it your pick today!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 11:45 am #

      My pleasure, dahlink! It’s a great book on several levels.

  8. Gabi Snyder June 2, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Wow! I love Deborah Underwood’s books. And I didn’t know she could sing, too! This sounds like a winner!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

      She has a beautiful voice, doesn’t she? A multi-talented author. I think you and yours will enjoy this book. Have a great weekend!

  9. Lady Fancifull June 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    This looks fun – and what gorgeous illustrations too

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

      I so wish I were a visual artist, too. But then I have illustrator friends who talk about how long the process takes, and I think it would make me crazy to labor over the text AND the illustrations. I’ll just have to be happy with words and hope that sometime down the road a brilliant illustrator will turn one of my manuscripts into something glorious. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Sue Heavenrich June 2, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

    I can’t believe I haven’t seen this already! Well, I’ll definitely have to get a copy so I can read it before I go baddie-bye. I mean beddie-bye. How cool that it has a song.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 2, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      Pretty cool that Deborah wrote and made her own trailer, too. Sweet dreams!

  11. Diane Tulloch June 3, 2017 at 2:19 am #

    Wow! This is a beautiful book. The illustrations are rich and the lyrical rhyming text flows. Love the imaginative angle and kind of makes you wish you had thought of it. Kids good or bad will love it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

      Definitely! We’ve all got a little badness in us occasionally, don’t we? And it’s good to know we’re lovable, despite the badness. I think this book is pretty darn near perfect.

  12. heylookawriterfellow June 5, 2017 at 5:29 am #

    Oh, I love this concept! How can baddies reach their full badness potential without proper rest?

    • Jilanne Hoffmann June 5, 2017 at 8:21 am #

      Exactly. This is something I could see you coming up withโ€”although it wouldn’t have been a gentle bedtime story. It would have been a laugh riot, I’m thinking….

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