Aaron Blabey, like his fellow Australian, Andy Griffiths, knows what kids like. He has picked characters that everyone knows are bad guys: Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark and Mr. Piranha, but has them form a gang to do good deeds and redeem their reputations. Of course, they aren't particularity talented at doing good deeds but the job gets done one way or an other.
The original idea belongs to Mr. Wolf. He's a good guy at heart; maybe he has blown down a house or two and dressed up like an old lady but he is really a nice guy deep inside. We get a peek at his rap sheet. There appear to be a few more incidents than he reported. He introduces Mr. Snake whose rap sheet includes a rampage at Mr. Ho's Pet Store. We are next introduced to Mr. Piranha who has come all the way from Bolivia. His rap sheet includes one crime: eating tourists. The last to arrive is Mr. Shark, Mr. Wolf covers up his rap sheet. About all we can see is a notation "Will literally eat ANYTHING or ANYBODY".
Over cupcakes, Mr. Wolf introduces the idea of the Good Guys Club. The others are a tad skeptical. After some coaxing the guys decide to try a small project: rescuing a cat stuck in a tree. The cat gets down from the tree by being scared to death by Mr. Piranha. But they still feel pretty good about helping the cat so they plan a bigger caper. This time it is freeing 200 puppies kept prisoner in the maximum security dog pound. The scheme is elaborate, not everything goes according to plan but the puppies are freed, terrified of their rescuers. Success! To be continued...
The story and pictures each tell part of the story, every page has just a few sentences with dynamic black and white drawings and the fonts are bold and easy to read. The series is a good transition to longer chapter books. Two of my second grade students read out loud all 138 pages in less than thirty minutes laughing all the way. There are two more books in this series, with a third due out in August.
The Sonoma County Library has six copies. The AR is 2.4.