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THE LEGEND OF NINJA COWBOY BEAR by David Bruins Kirkus Star

THE LEGEND OF NINJA COWBOY BEAR

By David Bruins (Author) , Hilary Leung (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-55453-486-9
Publisher: Kids Can

Once there were three best friends: a ninja, a cowboy and a bear, and they did everything together. They are all individuals, however, and one day ninja and bear quarrel. When they ask cowboy who is better, cowboy can’t decide…so he devises a contest. Who can make the bigger pile of rocks? “Although the ninja tried his best, in the end his pile was much smaller than the bear’s. So the bear boasted that he was unbeatable.” That causes the cowboy to disagree, and another contest ensues. When cowboy wins that one and boasts, ninja disagrees. After the third contest, everyone is quarrelling again—until they individually come to the conclusion that they each have their strengths. Leung’s digital illustrations are a perfect blend of Saturday-morning cartoon and manga, and much of the humor is contained within their play off the deadpan text. In all it’s a wonderfully integrated package about friendship, competition and the celebration of difference. The game at the back (a version of rock, paper, scissors substituting the characters) will have children hopping up for their own competitions. (Picture book. 4-7)