Friday, November 27, 2015
by Chris Tougas
32 pages; ages 3-7
Owlkids Books, 2015
theme: adventure, bravery
The ninjas are going on a field trip!
"With Master leading, arm in arm, they leave the bus to tour the farm."
Living near a farm that hosts school field trips, I know that this is an exciting experience for kids. They can check out pumpkins, feed the goats... but what do ninjas do when they visit a farm?
Let me just say that lots of the spreads feature YIKES! and YEE-OW! Things that shouldn't happen do happen, involving chickens, scarecrows, a bull, and some crazy ninja stuff... Until their master is in peril and they must remember their ninja creed (always help) and rush to save him with ninja speed.
What I like about this book: It reminds us to pay attention and not forget the lessons we've learned. At the same time, you just know these guys are going to get into all kinds of trouble. All I can say is: if you're going to hang out near the goats, make sure your pockets are zipped. Especially if your homework is folded up in there.
Beyond the book. Ninja were professional spies during the age of the samurai. You can learn about ninja history here. And you can learn more about Japanese history here.
If you want to learn the way of the ninja, you need to master the skills of walking silently, and camouflaging yourself using nature. This takes practice!
You also need to be able to run really fast and know how to disappear in a flash. Running is easy - just tie your sneakers and head outside and run every day. Eventually you'll get faster. Disappearing - not so easy.
Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy from the publisher.