If your little one skulks through the house in black PJs, vowing to defend the family with homemade nunchucks, may we suggest adding a few of these titles to story time? It’s no secret that ninos love ninjas, and it can be hard to hunt down stories about these mysterious martial artists that are appropriate for kids. So here’s a list of nine books that capture all that’s cool about ninjas while still being PG enough for your crew. Scroll down to check it out.
The Ninjabread Man by C.J. Leigh
“Try, try as best you can, you can’t beat me, I’m the Ninjabread Man!” This funny take on the classic Gingerbread Man story features the Ninjabread Man trying to outrun, outsmart and totally trick the Ninja Bear, Ninja Snake, Ninja Fox and Ninja Mouse. We know how the Gingerbread Man ends (chomp chomp) but is the Ninjabread Man able to outsmart the fox? You’ll have to read it to find out.
The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Another classic tale you know and love turned ninja: pig vs. wolf takes a ninja-tastic turn when each little piggy decides to specialize in a martial art—karate, jujitsu and aikido. Will all their training pay off and protect their house? Only an epic battle to decide their fate.
Super Turbo vs. Ninja Flying Squirrels by Lee Kirby
If you aren’t already familiar with Turbo the crime-fighting hamster (from the Captain Awesome books) this is the perfect book for your little ninjas to get acquainted. Class pet by day, when the bell rings and school is out Turbo transforms into a superpet, battling evil ninja flying squirrels, giant Eraser Dude and more. Your little school goers will love it! (Out in paperback Dec. 20).
Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Be Noticed by J.C. Phillipps
After Wink is accepted to the Summer Moon School for Young Ninjas he thinks his future as a master ninja is guaranteed. He struggles with the ninja tenants of stealth and silence, the the concept that being the nest ninja means going unnoticed. What’s the point of being a great ninja if no one notices? Find out if Wink eventually makes it as a ninja, then follow him on his other misadventures with Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to Nap.
The Totally Ninja Raccoons and the Catmas Caper by Kevin Coolidge
Not only do you get Ninja Raccoons fighting against the Cat Board’s plans to destroy Christmas, you get a fun little lesson on the true meaning of Christmas plus a special appearance by the German holiday monster, Krampus. Three raccoon brothers use ninja stealth to try and save Christmas.
Ninja! by Arree Chung
This fun how-to for wanna-be ninjas will have the kids raiding the closet for make-shift gear: a thick stick, silent footwear, sticky gloves and more (hide your neckties, dad). They will learn how to sneak, creeps, and be fast on their feet—not to mention how to do battle with family pets. Readers follow the main character through comic-book-style panels as he moves with stealth-like precision, covertly navigating each room and the furniture, to fulfill his mission of capturing his prize: his sister’s snack.
Hello Ninja by N.D. Wilson
Even ninjas need to sleep. This richly illustrated book will kick your kiddo’s imagination into high gear, and she’ll be jumping, spinning, kicking and rhyming all the way to dreamland. Parents love this book for its cool, sweet story and the interaction it encourages. “Hello, Ninja.” “Yes, hello.” will be a commonly heard exchange in your house if you add this to your book collection.
Ninja Baby by David Zeltzer
Nina was born a ninja—she came into the world karate chopping the doctor who delivered her. She’s cunning, quick and independent, insisting on doing everything herself.”At bedtime, she climbed her crib walls like smoke and vanished. And changing time was hand-to-hand combat. Nina did not like to be helped.” Then along comes the Kung Fu Master, or brand new baby brother. Will Nina defeat him, or will they ultimately join forces? Simple, sweet illustrations in pen, ink, and watercolor play up the tongue-in-cheek text on every page. It’s the perfect story for little ninjas—especially one expecting a new member of the dojo.
Fart Ninja: Silent But Deadly by J.B. O’Neil
Kids of a certain age will giggle incessantly while reading the story of Milo Snotrocket’s transformation into the Fart Ninja, the only hope against the school bully—Bobby Buttzcratcher—and his evil scheme. For anyone who finds passing gas funny, this is a must-read. For ninja lovers, it’s a hilarious take on “stealth.”
Got a favorite ninja book to add to this list? Tell us about it in the comments below!
—Erin Feher and Amber Guetebier