Born Bad by CK Smouha – Book Review

Born Bad by CK Smouha – Book Review

Born Bad by CK Smouha

Born Bad

Author – CK Smouha
Illustrator – Stephen Smith
Publisher – Cicada
Pages – 28
Released – 28th June 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1908714534
Format – paperback, hardcover
Review by – Stacey
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


A boldly illustrated tale of acceptance and change.

“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 goes on a journey, meeting members of the animal kingdom that experience change; a chameleon, a salamander, a seal, a parrotfish and a flatfish, to name a few. With their help he undergoes a magnificent transition…

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Wolf didn’t like being bad but when he looked in the mirror he thought he looked bad and then he felt bad which in turn made him act bad, he desperately wanted to change, he wanted to be good but he knew that he was made to look bad and so he thought he should act badly.

He decided to speak to some of the other animals about how they changed. First, he spoke with Chameleon who told him how she could change her colour anytime, not just to camouflage herself.

Wolf then spoke with other animals such as Seal who was once fluffy and white and now is grey and smooth and Reef Frog who was once a girl and now is a boy. He wanted to know how they felt after they changed. It gave Wolf the courage to do change something about himself to make himself no longer feel bad.

Born Bad is a book about identity and self-discovery. I loved all the facts about the animals – I did not know about the Flounder fish and his eyes. I also love the cross between the abstract art and expressionism for the illustrations throughout too which look amazing.

The tiny little bit about the book that I am unsure of is the ending when the wolf dressed up like a sheep to make himself feel better. I understand why but also it seemed a little off given that the meaning behind ‘A wolf in sheep’s clothing’ is – A dangerous person who is pretending to be harmless; an enemy who is disguised as a friend. Maybe a different outfit to get the message across would have been more appropriate.

Book Reviewer – Stacey

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