Inside the Villains

h1 July 31st, 2018 by jules


Here’s a quick peek inside the tall, interactive picture book import Inside the Villains (Gecko), coming to shelves this September from French author-illustrator Clotilde Perrin. Here, readers meet classic fairy-tale villains, up close and personal — the Wolf, the Giant, and the Witch. Each villain is profiled on a large flap that opens left (strengths, weaknesses, “Things I Hate,” etc.), and a classic folk or fairy tale featuring the villain is included — a version of the Grimm Brothers’ “The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats”; the English fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”; and “Alyoshka and Baba Yaga.” (These portions of text are also illustrated.)

And the large portrait of each villain on the right side of each spread? They include flaps, levers, tabs, and even strings so that readers can open coats, peek inside minds (and even hearts), and see what’s in pockets and/or boots. Lift the wolf’s shadowy exterior, for instance, to see Grandma’s nightgown — and if you open that, there lies a spiral-shaped tab you can lift with a string that reveals the various fairy tale characters who make up the Wolf’s favorite snacks, all snug in his belly.

Lest you think this book all gimmicky flaps, however, know that the star of the show is Perrin’s impish yet warm illustrations, filled with surprises and much humor. The Giant has a “HANGRY” tattoo, and you can lift some knives from his pockets. Lift the Witch’s left ear to see a small child hiding underneath. Peek inside the Wolf’s head to see some “Brilliant Ideas,” including “Swallow chalk for a softer voice.” The writing is also delightful, and readers who know their fairy tales will enjoy catching all the references. In fact, each profile includes “My Library” and lists some classic tales in which these villains appear.

Here’s a bit more art. …



(Click to enlarge)


(Click each to enlarge)


(If the Witch is too scary before breakfast, remember that villains have fears, too. The Wolf, for one? He’s scared of children more cunning than he.)



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INSIDE THE VILLAINS. English language edition © Gecko Press Ltd 2018. Text and illustrations © Clotilde Perrin. Illustrations used by permission of Gecko Press.

2 comments to “Inside the Villains

  1. So beautiful and inspiring! I love it.

  2. Hah! I love that the Wolf has a library – if you’ve gotten a chance to see Sara Lewis Holmes most recent book, her Wolf can read – Red Riding Hood can’t be bothered.

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