Margaret Chiu Greanias

Writing stories to delight children

Maximillian Villainous

Available wherever books are sold. Order online or from your local bookseller.


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. For example, when his famous family plays tricks on Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, Max spends his time undoing them.

When Max brings home a pet bunny to be his sidekick, his 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 must go against their good nature. Until at last, Max discovers that embracing his good heart might be the key to pulling off the most devious deed of all–and winning his family’s acceptance.

Delightfully fun, 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.


Illustrated by Lesley Breen Withrow

Published by Running Press Kids (August 28, 2018)

ISBN: 9780762462971

Order now:
Order from Books A Million icon Icon
Order from your local indie


“The resolution to this square-peg-in-a-round-hole identity farce is devilishly clever, and the art showing the creepy-cuddlesome Villainous clan in off-kilter color combinations is ghoulishly good.” – HORN BOOK

“This is a great story for younger students to encourage good deeds and show how these deeds can lead to a reward. Older students would also benefit from this lesson being delivered in such a fun way.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY CONNECTION

“Despite their fearsome reputations, they’re more cuddly than scary, making this tale a treat for all ages.” – BOOKLIST

“It is pretty silly to see how Max’s latest attempts at villainy fail…. Pair with Amy Dixon’s Maurice the Unbeastly or Mo Willem’s Leonardo the Terrible Monster for a fun storytime about misunderstood monsters.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“A clever, surprising ending emphasizes that different isn’t always so different after all.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


READALOUD VIDEO: Watch an entertaining readaloud of Maximillian Villainous full of humor and puppets by KidTimeStoryTime.

HOW-TO-DRAW VIDEO: Illustrator Lesley Breen Withrow shows you how to draw Maximillian Villainous and his sidekick Bart.

DISCUSSION & ACTIVITY GUIDE: Find discussion questions, a compare and contrast point of view exercise, crossword puzzle, plot analysis template, and more.


Maximillian Villainous Activity and Discussion Guide

LETTER WRITING EXERCISE: Write a letter from Maximillian Villainous to the Easter Bunny apologizing for his family’s antics. Brainstorm and include a solution for saving Easter.


Easter Letter image

ART PROJECT: Design a Villainous relative. Will they have horns, pointy teeth, a mustache? Use crayons, markers, color pencils, or even construction paper.


Make A Monster Activity Sheet