June 5, 2013
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young
by Barbara DaCosta,
illustrated by Ed Young
Little, Brown and Co.
As the clock strikes midnight, a hook and rope snake through the air, catching onto the peaked roof. We watch as a ninja shinnies across the rope and up a wall before dropping into the house. He sneaks, he creeps and he listens and he has just about completed his mission when POP! on turns a light.
I completely refuse to give away how this book ends and what is going on but suffice it to say that it is all tension and mystery and then a big smile. “So, that’s what’s going on!”
The very youngest children might find it a little to creepy as the shadowy figure is a spooky, but my son would have gobbled this book up and then insisted that we read it again and again.
At less than 100 words, it is a super quick read and although it is a bed time book (yes, really!), I think it would make an even better nap time book when no shadowy excuses are available for staying up and calling Mom or Dad into the room.
Ed Young’s collage art combines cut paper, textured cloth, string (rope) and colored pencil for an effect that is simple but also brilliant. I’m going to have to look for more of his books right away because I am truly a sucker for excellent collage. This work is marvelously textured and, while not highly detailed, definitely helped build the mood of the story.
Read this one to your young pre-reader today and enjoy a smile together as you reach that aha moment at the end.