- Book Style: Storybook for children
- Reading Level: 2 (Read with Help due to: some mid-level vocabulary)
- Reading Length: 5-7 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Artistic, detailed, life-like
- Age Target: 1-8 Years of Age
Even Ninjas Have Nightmares is a fantastic children’s storybook from J.C. Roussos and their (read about who J.C. Roussos is on their site) illustrator, Joe M. Ruiz. The book is about a young and tiny child we know only as “Ninja”. Ninja has a nightmare about a scary purple octopus-looking creature. As a result of Ninja screaming “Hi-yah” and demanding the monster surrender, Ninja’s mother comes in and helps him like any good mother does. We’re led to believe that Ninja isn’t scared; he then checks out his room and finds nothing (because the monster is obviously afraid of Ninja!) In the end, Ninja bravely helps his little sister Jane overcome her nightmare by telling her that “even ninjas have nightmares”!
Now, let me get this out of the way….
I have a little guy who absolutely adored this book. He’s now turned into a ninja and has to show me his moves constantly. Thanks for that, J.C. Roussos! With that out of the way, let’s turn to just why that has happened and why I will forever be buying ninja outfits.
Quite simply, from all of the books I’ve reviewed on Kids Fun Channel, this is probably my favorite. For me, this book truly (especially for little boys) ranks up there with some of the classic Dr. Seuss stories. That’s saying a lot for a kid who grew up on Go Dog Go, The Cat In The Hat, and Hop on Pop. This book is an instant classic for my child and I.
As I said, for little boys this book hits (pun intended) all the right points. Ninja is a young boy who is full of energy, is always dressed like a ninja, kicks and punches with the best of them, and has a mom who clearly loves and takes care of him. It’s obvious that Ninja lives a great life and that he has never taken off his ninja suit. It’s also obvious that his mother loves him to no end; she even bows when leaving the room because she “knows that’s the right way to tell a ninja good night.” I love it when stories display this kind of affection because I think it somehow helps my relationship with my child.
From there, it’s the way the story is told that’s so fun. It’s not easy to explain, but as the reader I get to have a little fun just from the way this book was written. From “Hi-yah” to fun sayings like “ninja needed, ninja needed”, this book gives the reader (and your child) a break from the story to just have a little fun. What’s more, the descriptors are all highly action-based. This just adds to the fun as little Ninja kicks, races, bounces, dances, and of course…breathes fire throughout the book.
The story is also told from Ninja’s perspective. He tells us with that reckless abandon that we all once had and that we can see in our children. It’s nothing short of stress relief to see the world from a happy child’s life, and that’s what Even Ninjas Have Nightmares does for us.
The writing style, story, and theme notwithstanding, this book’s illustrations are likely the best I’ve ever reviewed. From the incredible detail put into things like shadows and shading, to the wide-eyed children and their fun expressions, to the great disparity between each panel, this book’s illustrations hit all the marks. If you need an example, just look at the picture below. The shading and detail on Ninja’s suit tell a story all on their own.
So it’s pretty obvious what I’m going to tell you to do here. Go buy this one! At a whopping $3 USD on Amazon.com, this e-book is more than worth it. If your little one is anything like mine, he or she will absolutely love this story and the illustrations. This is truly a classic for me and my son, and we’re definitely going to purchase a paperback copy as soon as we can (on that note, I’m told that there will be a paperback copy available right away). In any case, click the link below:
Until next time…smash, crash, and learn!