NORTH POLE NINJAS by Tyler Knott Gregson


Mission: Christmas!
Age Range: 4 - 7
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In this story, some of Santa’s elves are actually tiny ninjas, working undercover to assist Santa and making the world a better place through “random acts of kindness.”

The North Pole Ninjas wear red and green uniforms and follow their own sensei, the “teacher of the secrets.” These little ninjas also go out into the world to do good deeds as examples of the Christmas spirit. After this setup, the story veers off to reveal that the ninjas need help, so with Santa’s permission, any boy or girl can also be a North Pole Ninja and serve others through good deeds. The text addresses readers with suggested good deeds, including shoveling snow and giving away stacks of food from your refrigerator as well as clothing and toys from your closet. This becomes confusing, especially with a list of children’s names who are chosen by Santa to become ninjas and the implication that the sensei and ninja elves will pop up to advise readers. The illustrations use a dark, mysterious palette with the effect of glowing light at the North Pole and in the living room of a family of three children who become North Pole Ninjas. These children are light-skinned, and both older children wear glasses. The ninja elves are cute little light-skinned creatures, popping up here and there, often upside down or sideways. The sensei (which comes with the book in the form of a soft toy) has the look of a bearded, pink-skinned Yoda, and Santa is white.

An intriguing concept that tries to cover too many bases. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-399-53944-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2016


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