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Friday, April 21, 2017

Ninja! Attack of the Clan, written and illustrated by Arree Chung. Henry Holt and Company, Macmillan. Raincoast, 2016. $19.50 ages 4 and up

Yes, Maxwell ...
Want to play hide-and-seek
with me?
Yes, Maxwell.
I'll hide, you seek.
Yes, Maxwell.

A ninja must be concealed.
Where should I hide?"

Maxwell is ready for combat. All he needs is an opponent. His entire family is busy at their own pursuits. Mom is making dinner. Cassy is playing with blocks. Dad agrees to a game of hide-and-seek even though he is lost in work on his tax return. He immediately forgets that he has made that promise.

It takes Maxwell a long time to find the perfect hiding spot, and he is discouraged by his father's forgetfulness. What can a ninja do? Off he goes to practice an important ninja art - meditation. It doesn't help. When his mother calls him for supper, he is astounded to find no one at the table. We all can see what's in store for him. The wait for results is worth it for every young reader!

There is a surprise attack, captured in bold colors, expressive faces and a wild series of battles. The artwork throughout is full of panels that aptly show all the emotions that our young ninja is feeling. Fine details add depth and understanding. It's comic book style and ever-changing perspectives are full of interest. Be sure to watch how mood changes the colors used to portray the action.

It is a story that will have great appeal for children and the parents who share this second story about Maxwell. (Ninja, Henry Holt, 2014).

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