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Every good story needs a villain. Whether it’s someone we love to hate, or a character that grows on us despite their misguided ways (we’re looking at you, Gru), the bad guys just make a story better. Not only that, but they can teach kids valuable lessons about morals, consequences, and doing the right thing.
Nobody knows this better than children’s author Aaron Blabey, who wrote and illustrated the New York Times bestselling illustrated series The Bad Guys — which, much to fans’ delight, has been made into an adorable animated film (in theaters on April 22nd!). Pickpockets, safe crackers, con artists, and hackers, this group of bad guys is attempting the impossible in order to stay out of prison: they’re cleaning up their act.
Because there’s something so good about bad guys, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite kids’ books about villains and ne’er-do-wells whose shady shenanigans make for stories your kids will want to hear again and again.
Bad guys get a bad rap — but in these kids’ books about bad guys, they’re just misunderstood.