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.
Margaret’s favorite childhood memories include catching minnows and frogs in the “bayou” with her two older brothers, tooling around the neighborhood on her banana-seat bike, and reading piles of picture books at the cool, cool library during the hot Texas summer. She wrote her first terrifically terrible book during the 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 class on creative writing and wow, she was hooked! After decades of avid reading and writing practice, she is thrilled to finally be an author. Her debut picture book, MAXIMILLIAN VILLAINOUS, was published in August 2018 by Running Press Kids. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, and a fluffle of dust bunnies.View Author
I love all the details that Lesley Breen Withrow added -- especially the whimsy of what's going on in the bunny underground and the food on the Villainous family dinner table (I loved the spaghetti worms and eyeballs so much that I had to recreated them for my launch party goodie bags!). By Margaret Chiu Greanias (author)
When I wrote Maximillian Villainous, I pictured characters like those in the Addams family -- kind of creepy human characters. When Lesley Breen Withrow (the illustrator) first rendered the characters, she sketched them as wolves/foxes, which was fantastic because it was so different than what I had pictured. In the end, we decided to make the Villainous family into monsters, and I think that opened the book up for fun humor in the illustrations and bold, colorful, and unique-looking characters. By Margaret Chiu Greanias (author)
Max, the main character, was born into a famous villainous family. But he is the opposite of villainous. He is kind, thoughtful, and always doing good. In the story, he is up against his family's expectations for who they want him to be. So I wanted to show the weight of their expectations by giving him an impressive, villainous-sounding name. By Margaret Chiu Greanias (author)