Monday, December 5, 2016

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida


ABOUT THE BOOK

Little Kunoichi, a young ninja in training, is frustrated. Inspired by tiny Chibi Samurai’s practice and skills, she works harder than ever and makes a friend. Together, they show the power of perseverance, hard work, and cooperation when they wow the crowd at the Island Festival. Ninja skills don’t come easily to Little Kunoichi. She needs determination—and a special friend—to unleash her power!

REVIEW

I didn't love this book as much as I was hoping to.  The book is cute enough and the themes are certainly good ones, I just couldn't fully get into the book, and the ending where Little Kunoichi and her friend, Chibi are working to come up with a fancy way to show off their skills did not really resonate with me.  However, the illustrations are adorable, especially when Kunoichi is spying on Chibi Samurai's practice sessions.  And the themes of hard work and persistence with a dash of creativity thrown in are great.   And I loved the fact that Chibi is also struggling at his special school, but refuses to let his small stature or struggles stop him and simply practices harder. And when the two get together to train, they are both the stronger for it.  What I had a problem with though is the fact that Kunoichi and Chibi thought they needed to do something spectacular to wow the crowd instead of just showing their improved skills. Not to mention, what they end up doing seems a bit beyond the abilities of two young children. And the inclusion of a dragon at this point was a bit jarring.  I don't think any of this will bother child readers though, they will be thrilled to see ninja moves in a boat with a pink dragon getting in the way. And a search and find picture for the festival seemed a bit of an odd addition at the end of the story, not that child readers will be bothered by this, they will be delighted to try to find Little Kunoichi and Chibi Samurai.  While the book doesn't quite resonate fully with me, the book is a cute one that is bound to appeal to young ninja lovers.

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