Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE BOY WHO CRIED NINJA by Alex Latimer

THE BOY WHO CRIED NINJA

By Alex Latimer (Author) , Alex Latimer (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-56145-579-9
Publisher: Peachtree

No one believes Tim. When he explains that a ninja stole the cake or a squid ate his homework, he’s told to do more chores ("and think about all the bad things he'd done"). And so he decides to lie. He covers for the tea-sipping pirate and pencil-throwing monkey only to find his deceit has the same result—more chores! The clever lad decides to invite all culpable characters to his house under the guise of a party. Upon meeting the motley crew of real malefactors, Tim’s parents apologize profusely and assign chores to their rightful owners ("Go and rake all the leaves in the yard and think about what you've done"). Happily, a real party commences thereafter, in which all behave and have a wonderful time. Playful, stylized drawings neatly enhance this humorous tale. The characters, with their triangle noses and sticklike appendages, are reminiscent of Oliver Jeffers (Up and Down, 2010, etc.), as is Latimer’s good use of negative space, but the silliness, sly humor and stylized bodies are evocative of Lane Smith (It's a Book, 2010, etc.). Thoughtful use of repetition and creative use of speech bubbles further enhance this good-looking tale. Hip and trendy but with a timeless theme, this is one enjoyable read. (Picture book. 4-8)