Scholastic imprint Alison Green Books has snared The Baddies, a new book from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler starring their “boldest, meanest and silliest villains” ever.
Publishing in hardback in September 2022, the “gloriously funny” rhyming story follows a troll, ghost and witch who each boast that they are the scariest—until they meet a little girl who shows that you don’t need to be big to be brave, and that baddies don’t always win.
The publisher said: “Written in Julia’s celebrated rhyme and illustrated with Axel’s vibrant and witty pictures, there are laugh-out-loud moments on every spread. Children will be captivated to see the Baddies get their comeuppance one by one, and will delight in cheering on a new heroine.”
Alison Green, publisher of Alison Green Books, acquired world rights for Donaldson’s text from Caroline Sheldon at Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, and for the illustrations with Scheffler direct.
Donaldson, the UK's top-earning author of 2020 with sales of nearly £11m, explained: “I do have a soft spot for the villains in the stories I've written—particularly the gullible Gruffalo, and the Highway Rat with his sweet tooth. Up to now I'd always asked myself, 'Shall I have a villain in this story, or not?', and have tended to alternate those two options. But this time I asked myself, 'Why just one villain?' and that was my starting point for The Baddies.”
Scheffler added: “I find a lot in Julia's funny story to feed my imagination, and always like illustrating fairytale settings. I look forward to introducing the brave little girl who beats all the big Baddies.”
Green said: “The Baddies feels like just the tonic we all need to cheer us through hard times. It’s full of wonderful slapstick fun and nonsense, and children will adore these three horrible, runny-nosed ‘heroes’!"
Alison Green is also publishing Donaldson's The Christmas Pine picture book later this year.