Saturday, March 16, 2019

Review - Ninja Baby

Ninja Baby
by David Zeltser
illustrated by Diane Goode
Date: 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

From the day she was born, Nina was a ninja baby. She obliterated her applesauce. She concealed herself at bath time. And she was training herself in advanced infiltration (of movie night). Nina wants to do everything by herself, until the day her parents bring home a Kung Fu Master (a baby brother). Now with a sibling, Nina will face the one thing she cannot do alone: be part of a family. With verve and humor, David Zeltser and Diane Goode tell the story of an unusually gifted child, and the family that is more than a match for her.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is one of those picture books that will probably appeal more to adults than to kids. Nina is a precocious little kid. She's a ninja baby! Fiercely independent, she wants to do everything by herself and for herself. Soon, though, she's joined in the household by a Kung Fu Master. Suddenly, she's on her own not because she wants to be, but because the Master is taking all of her parents' attention. So she asks him what his secret is...

This is actually a pretty cute story about sibling rivalry... and cooperation. Ninja Baby and the Kung Fu Master eventually learn a lot from each other. Their parents are in for a few rough years!

The illustrations are simple, but cute. The facial expressions and amount of action depicted on the pages make me wonder if the illustrator has some sort of background in animation. The babies are quite cute, and the little pictorial twist at the end shows us where the kids got their skills.

Overall, this is a fairly strong picture book. The storyline reminds me a little of Princess Puffybottom ... and Darryl with its themes of rivalry and eventual truce. I'd recommend either book if you're looking for something along those lines.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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