10 books like Inside the Villains

By Clotilde Perrin,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Inside the Villains. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Bear's Song

By Benjamin Chaud,

Book cover of The Bear's Song

Just as Papa Bear dozes off into hibernation, Little Bear’s mind buzzes with thoughts about honey. A bee guides Little Bear out of his cave in the forest, and into a city. When Papa Bear realizes Little Bear is missing, he immediately searches for his son. Find Papa Bear, Little Bear, beautiful architectural spaces, and quirky characters on each detail-packed spread. The first in a series, also check out: The Bear’s Sea Escape, The Bear’s Surprise, and Little Bear’s Big House.

The Bear's Song

By Benjamin Chaud,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bear's Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A seek-and-find picture book about a little bear who awakes from his hibernation early to follow a bee - because where there are bees, there is honey. When the quest leads Little Bear into the big city and then a bustling Opera House, his father follows closely behind and theatrical hijinks ensue, ultimately leading to a harmonious reunion, not to mention an abundance of bees!


The Birthday Cake Mystery

By The Tjong-Khing,

Book cover of The Birthday Cake Mystery

The characters in this visual mystery can be followed on each spread in a myriad of storylines that surprise and delight. With so many complex plots, in order to truly appreciate this book, re-reading is a must! Whose birthday is it? What is the mystery? Why is it so difficult to make a cake for the party? Fiascos and disasters abound, a classic illustration style that would keep detail-loving kids reading for hours.

The Birthday Cake Mystery

By The Tjong-Khing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Birthday Cake Mystery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through a series of intricate illustrations, an animal village prepares for a birthday party and tries to solve the mystery of a stolen necklace.


The Lost House

By B.B. Cronin,

Book cover of The Lost House: A Seek and Find Book

The Lost House takes readers on a seek-and-find quest through Grandad’s quirky house to recover items needed for a trip to the park. A chaotic visual delight, The Lost House features a vibrant limited color palette on each seek-and-find spread. Cronin charms the reader with unique characters, delightfully complex interiors, and a painterly style. The first in a series, also check out: The Lost Picnic, The Lost Cousins, and The Lost Christmas.

The Lost House

By B.B. Cronin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Lost House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brother and sister want to go to the playground with their grandfather, but they can't leave until they find his socks...and his shoes...and his glasses...will they ever get out of Grandad's hodgepodge house? This treasure trove of a book by a brilliant debut author-illustrator prompts very young readers to search and find the missing object on each spread packed with Grandad's bric-a-brac.


The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000

By Aleksandra Mizielinska, Daniel Mizielinski,

Book cover of The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000

Welcome to the future in the city of Mamoko! A list of questions launches readers to discover a story about each seek-and-find character. What is strange about Otto Flash’s new jumper? Why is Amelia squeal so excited?  Inventive, cross-sectioned interiors and exteriors, a top-notch, delicious color palette. This book sparks future-curious imaginations. Also in this series: Welcome to Mamoko and The World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons.

The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000

By Aleksandra Mizielinska, Daniel Mizielinski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It’s the year 3000 in Mamoko, but what does the future hold? This is the second book in the revolutionary Mamoko series, in which the reader becomes the storyteller, sharing their discoveries as they use their eyes to uncover the cosmos of characters packed into every page!


The Stinky Cheese Man

By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (illustrator),

Book cover of The Stinky Cheese Man: And Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Let’s be honest – most fairy tales are boring and predictable and lame. But not these! In this book, Jon Scieszka turns classic stories on their head and plays with the idea of what a fairy tale should (and could!) be. Instead of the Gingerbread Man, we get the Stinky Cheese Man. “The Princess and the Pea” becomes “The Princess and the Bowling Ball”, Little Red Riding Hood is replaced with Little Red Running Shorts, and the Really Ugly Duckling doesn’t turn out to be a swan after all – he just turns into a really ugly duck. This book cracks me up every time!

The Stinky Cheese Man

By Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Stinky Cheese Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The entire book, with its unconventional page arrangement and eclectic, frenetic mix of text and pictures, is a spoof on the art of book design and the art of the fairy tale. The individual tales, such as The Really Ugly Duckling and Little Red Running Shorts, can be extracted for telling aloud, with great success. Another masterpiece from the team that created The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!
-Horn Book


Love in Color

By Bolu Babalola,

Book cover of Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold

Bolu Babalola’s Love in Color is, technically, more a collection of reimagined myths than a collection of retold fairy tales, but the stories are so richly and wonderfully rendered, so smart and edgy and beguiling, that it seems silly to privilege a strict genre definition over a powerful collection. Babalola is shameless in her embrace of love—indeed, she confesses that she loves love—and yet her contemporary takes on global myths trouble any easy ideas about love the reader might bring to the collection. Love, here, is messy, tangled, frightening, and—according to Babalola—worth the tribulations it inspires.

Love in Color

By Bolu Babalola,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love in Color as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

"Love stories by and about marginalized women . . . The heroines are strong and sure . . . Babalola’s writing shines.” — New York Times Book Review

"Absolutely intoxicating." — Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of Red, White, and Royal Blue and One Last Stop

A vibrant debut collection of love stories from the bestselling author of Honey and Spice, retelling myths, folktales, and histories from around the world.

A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen. A young businesswoman attempts a great…


The Elves And The Shoemaker

By Grimm Brothers, Jim LaMarche,

Book cover of The Elves And The Shoemaker

Christmas is a wonderful time for magical tales that children love. In this one, a poor but good-hearted cobbler is rewarded for his honesty during the night, when clever elves sneak into his shop and make shoes for him to sell. It gives children the chance to imagine invisible helpers, and also the thrill of doing good deeds in secret.

The Elves And The Shoemaker

By Grimm Brothers, Jim LaMarche,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Elves And The Shoemaker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is the classic tale of elfin magic, loved by generations of children and made new by an artist of international acclaim. Jim LaMarche's stunning paintings, reminiscent of his earlier work in The Rainbabies, are the perfect compliment to this favorite Grimm fairy tale.


The Light Princess

By George MacDonald,

Book cover of The Light Princess

The 19th-century Scottish writer George MacDonald is said to be the father of the modern fairy tale, inspiring C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and many others. I chose The Light Princess because I find it his most charming tale: it's about a princess under a wicked spell who has been made weightless, unable to obey the laws of gravity. As in all good fairy tales, a prince eventually comes along to drag her back down to earth. He must sacrifice himself for her, but in the end, it is she who rescues him – from a feminist perspective, a most gratifying conclusion.

The Light Princess

By George MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Light Princess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

George MacDonald (1824-1905), the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, influenced not only C. S. Lewis but also such literary masters as Charles Williams and J. R. R. Tolkien. Though his longer fairy tales Lilith and Phantastes are particularly famous, much of MacDonald’s best fantasy writing is found in his shorter stories. In this volume editor Glenn Sadler has compiled some of MacDonald’s finest short works―marvelous fairy tales and stories certain to delight readers familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time.


Bulfinch's Mythology

By Thomas Bulfinch,

Book cover of Bulfinch's Mythology

When I was young I devoured Bullfinch's Mythology from cover to cover. Looking back, I am amazed that I had the time and the devotion to read the whole 900-odd pages, which give short, matter-of-fact recaps of the Greek and Roman myths, as well as the legends of King Arthur and Charlemagne. You'll find these tales far more beautifully told in the original Ovid or Virgil versions, I suppose, but if you just want the facts, Ma'am, the who's who of it all, then this is a fine place to start.

Bulfinch's Mythology

By Thomas Bulfinch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bulfinch's Mythology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Legendary tales of myth and romance written so everyone can enjoy the stories!

Can’t keep all your gods and goddesses straight? Wondering about mythological references in classic literature? Bulfinch’s Mythology offers approachable accounts of ancient legends in a compilation of the works of Thomas Bulfinch, banker and Latinist. This volume includes all three of Bulfinch’s original titles: The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry, and The Legends of Charlemagne. Bulfinch states his purpose for the book clearly: “Our work is not for the learned, nor for the theologian, nor for the philosopher, but for the reader of English literature...who…


The Complete Fairy Tales

By George MacDonald, U.C. Knoepflmacher,

Book cover of The Complete Fairy Tales

Lewis considered George MacDonald his spiritual father, having never met the man. He said that MacDonald introduced him to the gospel through his stories before he even knew that that’s what was happening. How? Metaphor. George MacDonald knew of God’s love more than most and did his best to share it with the world, deeply hidden in fairy tales, the kind of folklore that Lewis, Tolkien, and the rest of the Inklings loved so dearly.

The Complete Fairy Tales

By George MacDonald, U.C. Knoepflmacher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Fairy Tales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

George MacDonald occupied a major position in the intellectual life of his Victorian contemporaries. This volume brings together all eleven of his shorter fairy stories as well as his essay "The Fantastic Imagination". The subjects are those of traditional fantasy: good and wicked fairies, children embarking on elaborate quests, and journeys into unsettling dreamworlds. Within this familiar imaginative landscape, his children's stories were profoundly experimental, questioning the association of childhood with purity and innocence, and the need to separate fairy tale wonder from adult scepticism and disbelief.


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