High-flying fun to be read aloud or independently.

READ REVIEW

NINJA!

Silently the young ninja stalks through the house to reach his objective: baby sister’s prized milk and cookies.

Throughout the quiet house, Ninja Maxwell moves on fleet feet. He has two objectives: surprising his sleeping father and pulling off the ultimate heist of his baby sister’s snack (along with his awesome red ninja cup). The young ninja however, is not without feeling. When his ninja skills leave his little sister saddened and him both caught red-handed and “dishonored,” Maxwell seizes the opportunity to impart to the next generation (aka selfsame baby sister) the “way of the ninja.” Young readers should certainly relate to Maxwell’s familiar assemblage of household ninja props: a stick (a pool cue), ninja rope (a jump rope) and, of course, a ninja paddle (a paddleball game). A gentle rhythm propels this lively and charming text: “A ninja sneaks / creeps, / tumbles, / hides, / and is fast on his feet.” Told through a blend of traditional picture-book illustrations and comic-book–style panels, this seamlessly hybridizes the two forms, creating the perfect jumping-in point for readers interested in ninjas and comics.

High-flying fun to be read aloud or independently. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9911-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles.

THE DINKY DONKEY

Even more alliterative hanky-panky from the creators of The Wonky Donkey (2010).

Operating on the principle (valid, here) that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Smith and Cowley give their wildly popular Wonky Donkey a daughter—who, being “cute and small,” was a “dinky donkey”; having “beautiful long eyelashes” she was in consequence a “blinky dinky donkey”; and so on…and on…and on until the cumulative chorus sails past silly and ludicrous to irresistibly hysterical: “She was a stinky funky plinky-plonky winky-tinky,” etc. The repeating “Hee Haw!” chorus hardly suggests what any audience’s escalating response will be. In the illustrations the daughter sports her parent’s big, shiny eyes and winsome grin while posing in a multicolored mohawk next to a rustic boombox (“She was a punky blinky”), painting her hooves pink, crossing her rear legs to signal a need to pee (“winky-tinky inky-pinky”), demonstrating her smelliness with the help of a histrionic hummingbird, and finally cozying up to her proud, evidently single parent (there’s no sign of another) for a closing cuddle.

Should be packaged with an oxygen supply, as it will incontestably elicit uncontrollable gales of giggles. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-60083-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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