The Bad Guys

The Bad Guys
Written and Illustrated by Aaron Blabey

Publisher’s Summary:
The Bad Guys, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Piranha, want to be heroes, and they decide that the way to do it is free the 200 dogs in the city dog pound–but their plan soon goes awry.

Primary Source Pairing:
In this funny bad-guys-turned-good (sort of) story, we meet the four main characters through their rap sheets. While students may not be familiar with the concept of a rap sheet, use this opportunity to talk about animal characteristics and adaptations. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study photographs of the animal main characters. Discuss with students why the animal adaptations could be considered “bad” in the context of the story Bad Guys and then switch the perspective and move the discussion to why the animal adaptations are helpful to that animal. Use the included PDF template for the analysis: BadGuysCharacterChart.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What do you notice first?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • What animal adaptations do you see?
  • Why is the adaptation important for the animal’s survival?
  • Why would the adaptation be considered bad? Consider predator and prey relationships.

Wolf image:
Snake image: 
Piranha image:
Shark image:
Character chart, created by JMarek: BadGuysCharacterChart
Book Cover and Summary: Follett