HiYAAA! Ninja! by Aree Chung
HAVE NO FEAR. A TRUE NINJA CAN OVERCOME ALL OBSTACLES.
"I AM NINJA!"
If the clothes make the man, the gear makes the ninja, and with his dad's tie for a headband, a pool cue for his fighting stick, little sis's jump rope for climbing, and mom's rubber gloves from the kitchen, our young ninja is ready to make some ninja moves.
A NINJA SNEAKS, CREEPS, AND IS FAST ON HIS FEET...
Our master of the dark is on a mission, stealthily making his way through the shadows, outflanking the guard beasts (the family pug) and lithely leaping over any obstacles (like the sofa), he uses his climbing rope to achieve the heights as he surveils his target--his little sister's milk and cookie. Then as she watches in amused glee, he makes his final assault... dropping down on his napping dad's chest.
Arree Chung's Ninja! (Henry Holt, 2014) creates plenty of atmosphere with his subdued acrylic palette, set off with accents of dragon-breath red. Chung's little ninja creates some tension as he steals through the scene, only his dark eyes visible, with a sinister laugh and a final satisfied bow:
Publishers Weekly puts it well: "With a dark and saturated palette, long shadows, and graphic-novel framings, Arree hits the sweet spot between sinister and spoof," and School Library Journal throws it a star, saying, "Laugh-out-loud fun!"
For more jolly ninja exploits in a sly spoof on the Big Bad Wolf, see my review of The Three Ninja Pigs, here.