The Children’s Book Review | September 21, 2018
Margaret Greanias’ Selfie with Maximillian Villainous
Here I am in my “office” where I steal a minute here or there to scribble out pieces of stories. I actually think best when I’m doing something mundane—like washing dishes, boiling spaghetti, or jogging around the neighborhood, etc. This was the birthplace of MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS.
MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS is my debut book picture book illustrated by the amazing Lesley Breen Withrow who made Max and his family into adorably villainous characters. The story is about a young monster, born into a famous villainous family, who doesn’t quite have the heart to be a villain. When Max brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, his disapproving family challenges them to be a devious duo. Otherwise… the bunny hops.
Margaret Greanias’ Shelfie
This “bookshelf” is on my desk. As you can see, I get no work done here at all. But these are some of my favorite books–the ones I refer to when I’m writing whether for mentoring, craft, or inspiration. From these books, I think you might surmise that I’m mostly drawn to picture books with humor and heart (but not exclusively–see if you can spot the lyrical ones). You might also surmise that I am dabbling in the longer form from some of my craft books and other non-picture books stacked on my desk.
This is my book basket that is perpetually overflowing with books from the library. I check out mostly new releases to keep up-to-date on what’s being published. But I also check out potential mentor texts, books that have gotten lots of buzz or won awards, and of course, books that my 4 year old picks out. In this basket are books I’ve checked out to explore five different book ideas. Can you guess what kind of book(s) I’m working on next?
Written by Margaret Greanias
Illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow
Publisher’s Synopsis: For anyone who loved Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, this is a humorous and important book about learning to follow your heart and proving that kindness can outweigh villainy any day.
Maximillian Villainous is a monster who doesn’t have the heart to be a villain. His famous family pulls pranks on the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and Max spends his time undoing them. So when he brings home a bunny to be his sidekick, Max’s disapproving mother hatches a plan. She challenges Max and the bunny to become a devious duo; otherwise . . . the bunny hops. If they want to stay together, Max and the bunny have no choice but to go against their nature. They blunder into villainy with comical effect until Max discovers that embracing his good heart may just be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all and winning his family’s acceptance.
Delightfully fun and irreverent, Maximillian Villainous is an empowering story about embracing one’s true self and finding acceptance. Up and coming illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow brings the characters to life with bold and colorful illustrations in a style reminiscent of Richard Scarry.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Running Press Kids | August 28, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0762462971
About the Author
Margaret Greanias wrote her first terrifically terrible book in fourth grade. From grade school through college, she suffered through English—she was especially bad at analyzing stories and writing essays. Then, during her very last year of college, she took a creative writing class and discovered she loved writing. Despite this, it wasn’t until her second child was born that she remembered her love of children’s books. She’s been writing ever since. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, and a fluffle of dust bunnies.
Discover more books like “Maximillian Villainous,” written by Margaret Greanias and illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with Kindness, Monsters, Picture Book, and Self-Acceptance; and be sure to follow along with our Selfie and a Shelfie series.
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