Posts tagged ‘ninjas’

NIGHT TREMORS

Even Ninjas Have Nightmares

Written by J.C. Roussos

Illustrated by Joe M. Ruiz

A male second grader who is obsessed with ninjas is the protagonist in this picture book. As he climbs into bed, he imagines monsters under his bed. Dressed as a ninja, he jumps out of bed but finds only his mask and play sword under the bed. His mother comes to comfort him and turns on the ninja night light. When bad dreams arrive again, his mother again gently explains it is okay to have bad dreams. After he finally falls asleep, our little ninja hears a scream. This time when he leaps out of bed, the boy becomes a hero in his own right.

The exceptional illustrations in this book allow the story to leap into life for young readers. Colors and expressions tell the story exquisitely. Highly recommended for young children who experience night tremors.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The Chronicles of Ragnar Rabbit Book 1 How I Got My Name

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

Ragnar Rabbit,pic

Funny and clever early reader done in the format of a graphic novel. Protagonist is a stuffed rabbit nicknamed Raggy; the real story is how he got his name Ragnar. One day Raggy’s human owner, Max, goes to the library with his grandpa. They return home with a book about Vikings. Max and Raggy begin to act out Viking adventures. Max builds a Viking ship with the help of his parents and Raggy.

The next day, they are about to launch their ship when Raggy is whisked away by a vulture. I won’t give away the plot, but I can say Raggy will encounter a Ninja, and a helicopter before being kidnapped again. Max is disconsolate; the family searches for two weeks. At the end of the story, readers are still unaware of the whereabouts of Raggy, now named Rangar in honor of a famous Viking warrior. What has happened to the dedicated stuffed rabbit? Will he be reunited with Max? Guess we will find out in Book 2.

The simple vocabulary and speech balloons allow early readers to master the text and follow the emotions of the characters, including the adorable ants who comment and have their own little adventures while following Max and Raggy. Nice bedtime story, but particularly recommended for reluctant readers or as a beginning reader for ages four through seven.

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NUISANCE NERD

Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest: The Quest for Screen Time

Written by Marti Dumas

Illustrated by Marie Muravski

JadenToussaint,pic

This is an early chapter book consisting of seven short chapters, plus black and white illustrations, perfect for early readers in elementary grades. The Prologue introduces each character with an illustration and a brief character profile.

Protagonist Jaden Toussaint is a kindergarten student who is different from the rest of his family. Mom, dad, and older sister love to read, but precocious Jaden thinks that the trouble with books is that they make you feel lonely and left out. Jaden loves interacting with people and animals; he enjoys conducting scientific experiments. One day Jaden is being persistently annoying so his father reluctantly gives him his cell phone. Jaden immediately decides using a screen is the way to his destiny.

Jaden is only in kindergarten, but he thinks Mrs. Bates, his teacher is wonderful. When the class gets homework, Jaden tries to convince his parents that computer time is mandatory, but they disagree. Jaden finds an innovative way to convince them to change their minds.

Young readers will enjoy Jaden’s clever way of manipulating adults. This book with black and white illustration and appealing characters with short chapters provides a good choice for reluctant readers and children like Jaden who normally don’t want to pick up a book. Teachers could use the short chapter format spread over a week to do classroom read aloud and discussion. Has the mark of a promising series.

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