Tag Archives: Ninjas

Battle Mum – Zoë Foster Blake. Illustrated by Adele K. Thomas

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Penguin Australia

1 November 2022

  • ISBN: 9780143779681
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $19.99

Look, I’ve gotta be honest – anything with Karate Kid moves or ninja references and I’m in! In my experience, the same applies for kids. Ok, so maybe not all of them are actually across the Karate Kid (clearly because their education has been neglected) but definitely ninjas!

For anyone with kids (or indeed, grandies!) that dread feeling of being exhausted, but beset by kiddos who just want to ‘battle’ – play, wrestle, cavort, pounce, gambol, leap – is just plain overwhelming at times – you get my meaning here I know, and I also know you already feel exhausted just reading that.

I think Zoë also knows this feeling only too well, and has superbly translated that into this really funny and lively new picture book.

Ana and Louis are dead tired after their busy day at school and kindergarten, and have just settled themselves on the couch to binge some TV and chill out. The trouble is that Mum wants to battle … and she’s not taking NO for an answer. Reluctantly, the children concede but with provisos – NO TICKLING! and ONLY FIVE MINUTES! – especially because they need this to be well over before Dad gets home and starts up his own battle! Such a super way to illustrate how wonderful imagination is – as you will discover :-).

I love that Zoë has used her own son’s signature moves and actions as her inspiration (and I’d be guessing he’s also quite impressed). This is truly just pure good fun – I could envisage a whole lot of extravagant physical activity going on with a class as a follow-up to a shared reading – hopefully, outside the classroom!!

Kiddos are going to love this – and I think there will not only be many requested re-readings for bedtimes but most certainly in classrooms. Highly recommended for littlies from Prep upwards.

Read more about the inspiration for this one with Zoë’s Q&A

Samurai vs Ninja (#1 & #2) – Nick Falk & Tony Flowers

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Samurai vs Ninja 1: The Battle for the Golden Egg – Nick Falk & Tony Flowers

ISBN: 9780857986054

Published: 01/04/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 96 pages

goldenegg

Samurai vs Ninja 2: The Race for the Shogun’s Treasure

ISBN: 9780857986368

Published: 01/04/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 96 pages

shogunstreasure

RRP: $9.99

From the dynamic duo that brought us the Billy is a Dragon and Saurus Street series – much loved by your younger readers no doubt! – comes this hilarious new offering with some extremely loopy characters.

Full of antics and situations which will have huge appeal to those children setting out on their beginning chapter books journey; these stories relate the ongoing skirmishes between the rival ninjas and samurais with laugh-out-loud humour. Readers will relish moments such as ‘It’s raining ninja poo!’ and ‘..so she’d snuck into his room and put wasabi in his undies’.

In volume #1, the crazy warriors are both angling for Japan’s greatest treasure – the fabled Golden Egg. Cheating and revenge tactics abound as neither team play fair.

The #2 episode sees the manic factions facing off again when the Great Bear is stolen from Edo Castle and the shogun promises a great honour to whoever can find his prized possession.

While written in a fashion that will draw in those newly independent readers there is a great opportunity to expand vocabulary including some Japanese language – ably explained in a glossary at the end of each book.

Flowers’ cartoon illustrations are a terrific adjunct to readers  with their speech bubbles adding punch to each punch line delivered.

These are exactly the sorts of stories that could be the basis of some creative writing as students come up with their own wacky adventures for the Japanese crazies.

Highly recommended for younger readers aged around 6 and up.