Review Blog

Oct 31 2019

Midnight Ninja by Sam Lloyd

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Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781408884836.
(Age: 4-8) Recommended. Themes: Rhyming Stories, Ninjas, Humourous stories. 'Meet this little boy and his pussycat called Ginger. He's got a bedtime secret - he's the mighty . . . Midnight Ninja!'. And so a new superhero is born and his alias is a little kid in striped pyjamas. His sidekick Ginger may look meek but when Midnight Ninja is in trouble (he isn't the best at it) he turns into the Secret Ninja Master with incredible kung fu puss-cat claws! Ginger actually looks a little like Mr Pusskins, another of Sam Lloyd's creations. Tonight's emergency is this: 'Socks are going missing from clothes lines everywhere. We think a naughty baddy has hidden them in their lair'. So into his teleporter the Ninja kid goes, crawling and rolling and leaping and flipping. He finds the baddy lair and a frightening thing: 'Sock-wearing spiders and a BIG BAD SPIDER KING' (all tucked up sleeping under their floral blankets and looking anything but terrifying). There begins a ninja on spider fight of web blasters and ninja bishing and bashing. But the next bit is the nice bit: Midnight Ninja's promise is to always help so when the little spiders explain their feet are chilly he chops down silky spider webs for Ginger to knit them new socks.
Little ninja-loving kids will be right into this rollicking, action-packed story that is an incredibly fun read-aloud. They will love getting a sneak peek into his ninja den crammed full of gadgets and gizmos and his own ninja training pod (especially considering the rise of children's ninja courses in playgrounds and indoor facilities).
The illustrations are busy, with lots of little humourous additions (such as the spider king reading a book entitled 'How to cook a Ninja' and the little spiders standing around the fire ready with ketchup and salt and pepper). This will satisfy little one's ninja needs but will please parents with its nice message of helpfulness and using ninja powers for good.
Nicole Nelson

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