Ninjas have appeared recently in day cares as well as dojos, but how does a toddler ninja react when she meets the ultimate Kung Fu Master?
Nina was born a ninja, a fact apparent when she karate-chops the doctor who gives her bottom a gentle, welcoming thump. In no time she’s mastered the arts of the sneak attack (purloining doughnuts), vanishing (scaling the mobile above her crib), and hand-to-hand combat (diaper changes—need we say more?). All is more or less well until time goes by, and another ninja baby enters the home. Nina notes that the baby is clearly a Master by the way he disarms his captors and makes them carry him everywhere. After a quick tantrum, Nina realizes that she has a thing or two to learn from her equal in the ninja arts. Parents will naturally understand Zeltser’s wry metaphor, but the book is also an original take on the ways in which children may cope with new baby siblings (in this case, emulating their siblings’ more cuddly aspects). All the while, Goode’s sublime ink-and-watercolor drawings keep the violence in check and render even the most malicious tantrum nothing short of a magnificent exercise in technique. The image of Nina and the baby standing together, fists up for combat, is both hysterical and adorable.
Stalking undetected into your heart, this book effectively feeds the ninja need. (Picture book. 4-7)