Born Bad

Born Bad

By Author / Illustrator

CK Smouha, Stephen Smith


Mental Health & Wellbeing

Age range(s)



Cicada Books Limited




Paperback / softback




"Wolf wasn't happy being Wolf. When he looked in the mirror he looked BAD. And when he looked bad, he felt bad, and when he felt bad, he acted bad."

Wolf wants to change but he's not sure how. He meets members of the animal kingdom who share their own experiences. With their help, Wolf challenges his own preconceptions about identity and finally finds the courage to undergo a magnificent transition....



Wolf looks bad so he feels bad, he feels bad so he acts bad, but can a group of animals that go through their own changes convince him that he doesn't have to be that way?  Born Bad is ultimately about being able to be yourself, it's entertaining but quite wordy so suits a slightly older reader. There are plenty of learning opportunities about animals that undergo some form of metamorphosis, and many themes about believing in yourself and how to express yourself.

The pictures are bright and eye-catching, the story is engaging although the ending feels a little sudden and left some younger readers a bit bemused.  This book could be used in PSHE sessions about acceptance and appearance. It would also be a fun, cross-curricular link to metamorphosis or life cycles in science.

Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lizi Backhouse, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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