What to read after... The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

Published on: 22 June 2022 Author: Scott Evans, The Reader Teacher

If your children have loved reading the brilliant Bad Guys series, we've got plenty more suggestions of stories that they’ll like...

Aaron Blabey’s anarchically-funny Bad Guys series about a gang of shady animals who try to go good to change society’s perceptions of them as career criminals is extremely popular with children, so much so that it’s recently been adapted into an animated movie. 

If you know children who have loved reading these laugh-out-loud tales or have just watched the film, check out our recommendations about What to Read After…

For more comic-book style capers…

The Bad Guys is an illustrated children's graphic novel series, and every child should have the chance to read graphic novels and comics alongside fiction, non-fiction, poetry and picture books. So howl with laughter with Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (the creator of Captain Underpants) which has the same sense of side-splitting humour that The Bad Guys has, as you follow the crime-solving antics of Dog Man as he tries to save the day.

Check out the equally funny full-colour graphic novel, Bunny vs Monkey by Jamie Smart, in which Bunny and his friends live a lovely life in the forest until Monkey’s rocket crash-lands and he decides to take over. There are several collections of the duo’s crazy adventures in the series so far and you can read them in any order you like, although starting with the first will help to give you their back story!

Another goofy graphic novel series is InvestiGators by John Patrick Green, which follows two super spy alligators as they travel through the sewers and fight the forces of evil. Go undercover with them on their first mission together with their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, as they have not one but two mysteries to solve!

For more animal-inspired adventures...

The Bad Guys’ crew consists of animals that are usually portrayed as villains in stories: Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, and Mr. Piranha. But if you’re looking for other animals that have their own tales to tell. Well, look no further…

Try Grimwood by Nadia Shireen for more madcap moments when two sibling foxes flee to the countryside to escape the evil exploits of the local bully cat. There, they expect a warm welcome but instead, they are met with the complete opposite in the shape of thieving eagles, dramatic ducks, riotous rabbits, and a whole host of unusual characters. Buckle yourself in for a bonkers read!

If they like pigeons, there’s Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood about a secret squad of crime-fighting pigeons who are out on the streets keeping the city safe, chasing the bad guys, and saving your butts! And Dave Pigeon by Swapna Haddow and Sheena Dempsey, who’s no bird-brain, and is the legendary pigeon who defeated his nemesis Mean Cat, and then wrote down his epic and hilarious tale of heroism. 

Join Narwhal and Jelly in Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea! by Ben Clanton as they discover the whole wide ocean together with their short comic-strip stories and silly jokes. The series celebrates the value of positivity and creativity. Described as an in-between to graphic novels and picture books, they are ideal for children who are starting out on their reading journeys.

For those who are ‘trying’ to be good...

Packed with doodles and cartoons, Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell is the wry, witty and very funny diary of Norse god Loki and the trials of being trapped on Earth after being banished to live here as a "normal" school boy. If he can show moral improvement within one month, then Loki can return to Asgard ... and if he can't? Then it's eternity in a pit of angry snakes. Start children off with this and they will be begging to read book two! 

Far away in the icy wastes of Antarctica lives a kind-hearted penguin who only wants to do good in the world . . . NOT! This is no ordinary penguin! This is . . . Evil Emperor Penguin by Laura Ellen Anderson. And he wants to take over the world! Providing a refreshing change to a penguin character who isn't just cute and cuddly, this one is guaranteed to have children chuckling.

For more Bad Guys series suggestions…

With The Bad Guys: Episodes 1 and 2 being the first book in the bestselling series so far, there’s plenty more to read. So why not try all of them? Next in the series is The Bad Guys: Episodes 3 and 4 and so on, and published just this year is The Bad Guys: Episodes 13 and 14, and The Bad Guys Movie Novelization.

We’re sure that your children will want to read The Bad Guys again and again and the best thing is that you can read the books in any order (although we recommend starting with book one to get to know the characters!) so get ready to have lots of fun with the whole SUPER series!

Join in!

You've heard our suggestions - now we'd love you to tell us yours! Do you know the perfect book for a fan of the Bad Guys series of books? 

We'd love to hear which books you've enjoyed sharing after The Bad Guys! Let us know by leaving your comments in the box below, or by tweeting us @BookTrust, with the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter!

Scott Evans is a primary school teacher, reading for pleasure adviser, and children’s books consultant, content creator, critic & influencer. He reads, reviews & recommends a range of children's literature on his website and YouTube channel, both called The Reader Teacher. You can follow him @MrEPrimary on Twitter. He also hosts #PrimarySchoolBookClub - a monthly Twitter-based children's book club, chat & vote.

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