A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
No academic content, but some life lessons about sticking together as friends even when it would be easier to walk away.
The "Bad Guys" bicker among themselves but always stand by each other, and the missions they go on are all for good reasons.
Positive Role Models
Mr. Wolf is kind and does things for others. But the others aren't that motivated; they just seem to go along with his ideas for repairing their reputation as bad guys.
Occasional use of phrases such as "this sucks" and lots of put-downs while they argue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Aaron Blabey's Bad Guys series about misfit animals on a quest to prove they aren't as bad as their species' reputations is a quick, hilarious read, and a fun bunch of graphic novels. The stories don't offer much in the way of life lessons or modeling how friends should treat each other, but the dialogue between the shark, wolf, snake, and piranha is snappy, full of jokes and insults between friends, and a good amount of potty humor. In other words, young readers will likely enjoy these books, and parents won't mind reading these aloud, but will likely hope that some of the phrases aren't repeated (too often) at the dinner table.
Is It Any Good?
These funny, irreverent books will hold young readers' attention and make them giggle. Don't look for serious messages about life and morality here. Look for -- and find -- engaging, age-appropriate humor, great illustrations, and a reminder that reading is fun. As graphic novels, the Bad Guys series has the flexibility to engage with readers on many levels, and it succeeds with both hilarious, fast-paced conversations between the animals and images that jump off the page. The few drawbacks -- that the constant bickering between friends could be a bit much for the youngest readers, and the only female around is a curvy secret agent Mr. Wolf is smitten with -- are overshadowed by the sheer joy these books bring to readers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.