Reviews /

The Baddies

Authored by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Published by Scholastic

The Baddies is the latest offering from the bestselling partnership between author Julia Donaldson and illustrator from the Axel Scheffler. The opening page introduces us to the three baddies; a troll, a ghost and a witch who enjoy spending time together competing about who is the meanest. When a girl moves into the nearby cottage, this terrifying trio are determined to perform their nastiest tricks on her. Their bickering over who will scare her most provokes a mouse to challenge them. Whoever can steal the girl’s blue spotted hanky will be declared the worst. One by one they take their turn and one by one they discover the girl just isn’t scared of them and instead of screaming, she keeps smiling.  Defeated, the baddies pack their bags and are last seen heading off to live with an ogre.

There is much that will appeal to young readers in this story. Baddies are always popular to read about and these three are pretty gruesome thanks to Axel Scheffler’s detailed illustrations. It has a satisfying ending with the baddies getting their just deserts. The girl defeats the baddies, not by brute force, but by using kindness and goodness which is a powerful message which could link to PSHE teaching. In addition, the blue spotted hanky ends up helping the mouse, who plays a part in the defeat of the baddies with the challenge issued at the start.

I can’t say The Baddies is my favourite book by this pair but it will undoubtedly be popular with those children who enjoy the familiarity of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.