We always have our eyes open for authors and characters who are up to no good, especially when “no good” means having a lot of fun. Here’s a selection of this season’s worst offenders.
The cover of Pranklopedia promises “the grossest, craziest, not-mean pranks on the planet.” Written by longtime Nickelodeon magazine editor-in-chief Julie Winterbottom, the compendium offers 70 DIY schemes—everything from short-sheeting beds to creating extremely believable fake mouse turds—including a few practical jokes aimed specifically at parents. (Workman)
Of course, parental fallout from bad behavior may prompt a kid to take a hike. But there’s more to running away than just tying a bandana around a walking stick, as Jennifer LaRue Huget and Red Nose Studio (a.k.a. illustrator Chris Sickle) show in The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away from Home. Sculptural and 3-D art complement the narrator’s angst-ridden voice as he explains the importance of bidding pets farewell, the elements of a well-crafted why-I’m-leaving note—and, ultimately, why hitting the road isn’t necessarily the best way to address grievances. (Random/Schwartz & Wade)
Australian author Christopher Milne is such a big fan of misbehavior that he has devoted an entire series to it—Naughty Stories for Good Boys and Girls, whose roster this season includes That Dirty Dog and The Girl with Death Breath. Naughty Stories has sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide, suggesting that sometimes, being bad pays off. (Hardie Grant Egmont)