THE NINJABREAD MAN One Tough Cookie for Opponents

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The Ninjabread Man

When a kind old sensei wants to do something special for his four students -- Ninja Bear, Ninja Snake, Ninja Mouse and Ninja Fox -- he works through the night on a special tasty recipe of ninjabread. When he opens the oven, however, he is unprepared for the surprise awaiting him.

C.J. Leigh's retelling of the classic fairy tale stays true to the original while giving it a whole new flavor by decorating it with ninja martial arts. With the successes of KUNG FU PANDA and its knockoffs, THE NINJABREAD MAN is a natural choice for younger readers who may, at their tender ages, already be too world-wise to sit through the tale of an old lady baking cookies.

The newly baked Ninjabread Man delivers a message to the sensei -- that he should warn his students that their greatest test is upon them. Because he is going to visit each of them, and his challenge to them is that he cannot be caught. In short order, he visits Ninjas Bear, Snake and Mouse, besting each of them with ease. But what will Ninja Fox do when it is his turn? And is the end of their contest really the end of the story?

Chris Gall's illustrations bring this exciting and tasty adventure to life with large plates that focus on the foreground characters, complementing the text with just the right portrait on every page. Be forewarned, however, that you may find yourself in the kitchen afterward, baking up a batch of Ninjabread yourself. (We advise you to use plain gingerbread, however, to avoid any unwanted swordplay.)

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0