Hello, friends! Our book today is Maximillian Villainous, written by Margaret Chiu Greanias and illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow.
Maximillian is the youngest of the noted Villainous family. His parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. have made the Villainous name proud by doing monstrous misdeeds. But Max just doesn’t seem to have the same streak of trouble in him: he is polite, courteous, even going so far as to provide written apologies and conciliatory gestures to the victims of his family’s pranks. One day, he brings home a most unsuitable sidekick for evildoing – a fluffy bunny named Bert – and it’s the last straw. Max’s mother says that Bert may stay only if the duo can do one of three evil deeds: steal something, make someone cry, or become famous for their deviousness. Unwilling to part with his new friend, Max has to figure out a way to make his family proud… but can he do it without losing his true self?
Absolutely adorable. With some wonderful monster-themed illustrations, kid-pleasingly silly dialogue, and a fantastic plot twist, this was a fabulously enjoyable read. While some of the family’s exclamations were a bit mean – they are Villainous, after all – they do all come around when Max uses his unique talents to meet their demands by outsmarting the rules; they end up respecting Max’s differences, and sometimes that’s the best we can ask. I also loved that the story centers around the argument that it’s okay for boys to be sweet, nurturing, and kind – it’s a lesson that little ones are in desperate need of these days. The illustrations are filled with fun details, such as Max and Bert’s matching fur markings, and fit the tone just right. The length was good, and JJ loved it. A great one for reminding little ones that it’s okay to be different, and wonderful to be kind. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)