Maximillian Villainous

illus. by Lesley Breen Withrow. 40p. Perseus/Running Pr. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780762462971.
PreS-Gr 2—Maximillian comes from a long line of villains. His father stole Santa's sleigh and his grandfather robbed the Tooth Fairy. But Max can't seem to do anything evil at all! After several failed attempts, he and his pet rabbit hatch a plan to give all the children a pet bunny of their own, which "steals hearts" and makes all the kids cry (tears of joy.) Through his scheme, Max's family learns to accept him for who he is. Though the concept is certainly nothing new, it is pretty silly to see how Max's latest attempts at villainy fail—like when he tries to steal the Sandman's sleeping dust, but his bunny minions just end up falling asleep. Withrow's illustrations definitely make the piece; pencil outlines and scribbled shading helps give the artwork a kid-made look and feel.
VERDICT A good addition to most collections. Pair with Amy Dixon's Maurice the Unbeastly or Mo Willems's Leonardo the Terrible Monster for a fun storytime about misunderstood monsters.

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