BooksForKidsBlog

Saturday, February 29, 2020

To Thine Own Self Be True: Ninja Boy's Secret by Tina Schneider

NINJA BOY DID NOT WANT TO BE A NINJA.

Sneaking invisibly through trees and over rooftops on silent cat feet and climbing craggy walls like a spider do not make him happy.
NINJA BOY WANTED TO PLAY THE VIOLIN.

He knows that he will fail his ninja exams, and he knows his father, a man who meditates so deeply that he can discern the movement of molecules, will not be pleased.

Ninja Boy does not seek the path of his father. But he does possess the courage of a ninja.
HE SPOKE FROM HIS HEART.

"I WANT TO BE A VIOLINIST."

HIS FATHER'S EYES WERE HARDER THAN GLASS.

But Ninja Boy plays from his heart, filling the house with the joy of his music. And his father smiles and asks him to play another song.

Bravely being true to yourself is the thrust of Tina Schneider's new picture book, Ninja Boy's Secret (Tuttle Publishing, 2019), an oft-repeated theme for parent-and-child differences, but seldom seen in a Japanese ninja setting. Some youngsters will indeed envy the idea of a ninja school where students learn to scale rock walls, vanish into tall trees, and stealthily shift shape into invisibility, and indeed, Tina Schneider's striking black-on-white illustrations are inviting, but so also are her swirling depictions of Ninja Boy's music filling the house with lovely sound. A story of a different drummer who, to mix a metaphor, takes the road less traveled by to be himself.

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