The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Press)
PB RRP $9.99
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop
Aaron Blabey is back. And this time he has created a junior chapter book/graphic novel which should be read by everyone between the ages of seven and ninety.
Mr Wolf is sick of being seen as the bad guy. So, along with his somewhat reluctant friends Mr Shark, Mr Snake and Mr Piranha, he sets out to prove to the world that he is a nice guy. And the best place to start is with rescuing a cat. But what if the cat does not want to be rescued by a gang of nice guys with really big teeth who surround the base of the tree? And can they survive Mr Piranha’s constantly bad gas? Can Mr Snake stop swallowing the wrong things? What did happen to Mr Shark’s hat? Are these characters really capable of being nice guys? This first episode of The Bad Guys answers most of these questions and many more in a laugh-aloud roller coaster adventure.
Chapter headings such as Cruising for Trouble set the tone for each chapter well, and the text and pictures work hand in hand to create the humour and characters of the story. The humour is dry and sarcastic and the four bad guys have very distinctive, individual personalities. The illustrations of the laid-back shark, a somewhat sly snake and an often car-sick piranha are fabulous. Mr Wolf experiences so many emotions throughout – frustration being a top contender - which are all depicted with a variety of facial expressions that will have the reader in stitches.
I really enjoyed this book. I laughed aloud so often that my family kept asking me what I was reading. Then they devoured it themselves when it was their turn. I hope the next instalment is out soon.