Good Night, Baddies – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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 thoughts on “Good Night, Baddies – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Sue Morris @ KidLitReviews says:

    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 says:

      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. Joanna says:

    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 says:

      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. 😀

  3. Ste J says:

    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 says:

      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.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      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.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      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. 😀

  4. Sue Heavenrich says:

    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.

  5. Diane Tulloch says:

    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. 😉 🙂

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      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.

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