How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm? Dojo Daytrip by Chris Tougas
WITH MASTER LEADING, ARM IN ARM,
NINJAS LEAVE THE BUS TO TOUR THE FARM.
The six little black-hooded ninjas are up for a fun field trip to the farm. Master is into the spirit of the day, too--all decked out in his straw hat and cowboy boots and ready to show off his agricultural acumen for his little students.
But best laid plans of mice and master go astray!
With the ninjas perched on the pigpen fence, Master strides manfully with a bucket of swill toward the sow, slips on a banana peel, and lands, slop and all, in the trough.
The little students find it amazing and work off their excitement by letting the chicks loose and breaking a few boards in the fence with karate kicks! Then, leaving Master to struggle out of the slop, they scamper off to climb ropes and hide among the hay bales in the barn.
Master tries to carry on with his lesson in milking the cow. But the bull seems to be a bit possessive about Daisy!
MASTER FLEES THE RED BARN, RACING
FROM A BULL THAT'S CHARGING, CHASING
NINJAS CHASE EACH OTHER, TOO,
MAKING HORNS AND YELLING, MOO!
Master goes up a tree, at bay, until at last the bull goes away. Courageously, he climbs down and presses on with his lesson plan--hitching the horse up to pull the plow!
But the plowhorse spooks and drags Master, still hanging onto the plow, through the sod. The little ninjas are enthralled with the excitement of the moment. But, wait.
What would a good ninja do?
THE NINJAS ALL FORGOT THEIR CREED: ALWAYS HELP SOME ONE IN NEED!
The six ninja kids go into action. They jump onto the runaway horse and make him whoa. They rescue Master and help him recover. And then they leap into action, repairing the fences, refilling the trough, milking the cow, and giving the plot a good plowing. They even repaint the barn. The barnyard is restored to perfect order.
THE LITTLE NINJAS GIVE A BOW.
MASTER BOWS AND WHISPERS... WOW!
All's well as Master and students board their van and head back to the daycare center. But... what's that critter with the big horns doing in the back of the dojo bus?
It's Yikes! Yee-Ow! all over again as the dojo bus bounces back down the road, in Chris Tougas' Dojo Daytrip (Owlkids Books, 2015). Field trip stories usually involve some sort of hi-jinks among the day trippers, and it seems little ninjas are no different. Tougas' digitally generated cartoon ninjas go right along with the slapstick script, with liberated chicks everywhere, pratfalls in the pigpen, and considerable hazard to the seat of Master's pants in the plot. But this tale is saved from total silliness by the repetition of the dojo creed: Always help someone in need, and kids will soon take up the refrain... Yikes! Yee-Ow!
Pair this one with its predecessor, Dojo Daycare or N. D. Wilson's Ninja Boy Goes to School (review here).