cover image Dylan the Villain

Dylan the Villain

K.G. Campbell. Viking, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-451-47642-5

The utterly normal Snivels find themselves the parents of an exceptional child—a supervillain. But like all loving parents, they applaud his achievements (“You... are the very best and cleverest super-villain in the whole wide world!”) and send him to the perfect school: an academy for the “villainous and vile.” But school offers young Dylan a rude awakening—as it so often does to the doted-upon child—in the form of Addison Van Malice, whose blue hair, eye patch, chic costume, and icy demeanor scream villainy. Is it possible that Dylan isn’t so special after all? Readers will easily pick up on the satiric notes in Campbell’s comedy, and his jaunty, vivid characters will remind some of them of a Pixar film (in fact, Dylan’s purple eye mask, a tip-off that he’s bad to the bone, resembles the ones worn by the stars of The Incredibles). To his credit, Campbell (The Mermaid and the Shoe) doesn’t engineer a rapprochement between his two rivals—the book ends both Addison and Dylan giving as good as they get. Ages 4–6. Agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Feb.)