Monday, February 9

More Dan Santat: The Three Ninja Pigs and Ninja Red Riding Hood

Obviously, I'm still not over my excitement that The Adventures of Beekle won the Caldecott because I have found even more books of Dan Santat's illustrations to review (in addition to A Crankenstein Valentine that I reviewed last week). Here, I'm reviewing two of them, companion books written by Corey Rosen Schwartz.

The Three Ninja Pigs

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0399255144
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Date of publication: September 27, 2012
Age: 4 years and up
Genre: Fairy Tale

Themes: practice, training, bully, ninja skills

A certain trio of little pigs have had enough to the wolf huffing and puffing around town. The bully needs to be stopped! And so the three start training at the new ninja school. The first tries aikido, but tires of it quickly. The second tries jujitsu and is sure he's ready after a week or two. The third? She devotes herself to Karate. Now what will happen when the wolf comes around?

First of all, Schwartz wrote the whole thing in limericks. Which is quite a feat in itself. It's catchy, clever, and (most important to me!) hilarious. I loved it. And, of course, Santat's excellent illustrations only contributed to the clever hilarity of it all. Do you know what makes it even better? It's funny, but still has the fairy-tale-moral-of-the-story message: it's important to practice and train to be prepared!

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Ninja Red Riding Hood

My rating: ★★★★★

ISBN: 978-0399163548
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Date of publication: July 10, 2014
Age: 4 years and up
Genre: Fairy Tale

Themes: ninja skills, deception, stress management,

Wolf is STARVING, especially since some pigs started standing up to him with their ninja skills. So he decides to train as a ninja, and is soon ready to take on his next meal. Which happens to be a little girl in a red cloak visiting her grandma. But what happens if the little girl is a trained ninja as well? What is Wolf to do??

Even better than the first! Again, still in limericks (so funny) and another healthy does of clever hilarity. What I liked in particular, however, was telling the story from the wolf's point of view. He's hungry, he's stressed, and so he chooses accordingly. When it turns out to be the wrong choice, he's able to fix his mindset and work on being better. Who doesn't love a good redemption story? This one did have an actual, super-exciting fight scene, too, that was very well illustrated! I love these books. Go check them out!

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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