Good Guys, Bad Guys

Abrams. May 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781419734175.
PreS-Gr 2–This story is an engaging celebration of friendship and fun. Rhyming text depicts a sibling pair and their friends as they indulge in pretend play. At first, the sister is portrayed as a grouchy “bad guy” and her brother is described as the squeaky-clean “good guy.” They head outside to play and are joined by a diverse group of companions from their neighborhood. The sister’s cohorts, “wearing pirate clothes, patches on their eyes, warts on their toes,” steal treasures from a basket of toys and then head to a backyard swimming pool. Meanwhile, the brother’s pals get ready to jump in the pool and show off their skills. And so it goes, as the kids enjoy a busy day of pretend, until evening falls and it’s time to go inside. As they get ready for bed, the tuckered-out siblings affably agree to switch roles in the morning. Packed with charming details and nonstop action, the artwork and bouncy text make clear that while they are momentarily designated as “good guys” or “bad guys,” all of these kids are “great guys.” The lively illustrations were created with charcoal, watercolor, and digital media.
VERDICT A sunshine-filled ode to imagination.

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