A young ninja seeks a worthy opponent, but his family is too busy to play.
Chung (Ninja!, 2014) returns with a second comic-book–style tale about lovable, freckle-faced ninja Maxwell. Ready to tackle a challenger, Maxwell seeks an adversary in one of his family members. His mother is preparing dinner. His younger sister, Cassy, would rather play with her blocks. His father absentmindedly agrees to play hide-and-seek with him but forgets to look for Maxwell. Frustrated and bored, Maxwell meditates to find inner peace—unsuccessfully. When his mother calls him to dinner, he discovers an abandoned meal and his family hiding in wings. Three surprise attacks result in three epic battles—and one worthy opponent. Chung’s modern family is Asian and white, and their dinner consists of miso soup and sushi rolls. His vibrant illustrations are playful and action-packed. The background colors of each panel reflect Maxwell’s changing emotions: bright reds and yellows for excitement; browns for boredom; and grays for frustration. Readers should study Chung’s illustrations closely for small details that add even more depth to his story. Maxwell’s father is distracted because he’s working on his taxes; Cassy’s careful structure falls after her brother walks away. Readers will happily creep, meditate, and spar along with ninja Maxwell.
A clever, laugh-out-loud story for a broad audience. (Picture book. 3-8)