Customer Reviews: Nighttime Ninja
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It would be difficult to find a little boy and indeed, a little girl that is not interested, if not fascinated with Ninjas! They are our modern fantasy. Hey, when I was a little boy I played Ninja type games and did not even know what a Ninja was! Playing games; placing yourself in a fantasy world is part of growing up; of being a child.

Barbara DeCosta and artist E Young have captured this treasured aspect of childhood perfectly with Nighttime Ninja. Silently the Ninja sneaks through the night; over walls, creeping down halls, clinging to the shadows. His goal is in sight, the treasure is found. Flash - the light comes on! Our Ninja is caught in the act.


Yup, mom has caught him on a raid to the ice cream freezer and it off to bed and is wished "Sweet dreams, Nightime Ninja," from his mom.

Short descriptive action sentences blend well with the spirit of this book. There is no violence in this one; only the healthy imagination of a small boy. The art work found in this one is absolutely striking. Artist Ed Young has used cut paper, textured cloth, string, and colored pencil in very, very bold and concise colors to tell the story in picture form as much as the author has told it in word. The text and the art blend perfectly. It is actually rather amazing how the artist has used the color black throughout the book and has so effectively made the pictures "pop" from the page with his color contrasts.

This is a wonderful little bedtime story and a great change of pace.

A note here: I am quite familiar with the work of Ed Young and would highly recommend one of his latest books; one for the older reader. It is The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China and is a touching story that most certainly will make a lasting impression.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for an honest review. An honest review you got. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising and Amazon reviewer guidelines.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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on January 21, 2014
My son loves ninjas so I thought this would be good.

The idea of the book/story line is cute but there is not many words in the story. Most pages are just pictures.

I think for the book to rely so much on pictures the pictures should be more intriguing to children. Does not hold attention well.
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on March 11, 2013
(Bonus points to anyone who gets that reference.)

It's the middle of the night. A ninja sets forth on a journey.

For self-discovery?

To avenge his master?

To become the best there is?

No, he just wants some ice cream!

Nighttime Ninja is a fun little book that has minimal text and lots of great illustrations. Starting out, I was wondering if this book was to be taken seriously, because the action pictures and just how dynamic they were seemed like something more for a comic book than a kid's story. The ninja, who turns out to be a little boy sneaking around his house, does typical ninja things, using his full arsenal of tools and techniques. When he finally makes it to his goal, who could possibly stop him? Why, his mom of course!

Nighttime Ninja is a very cool book, and I don't even care for ninjas! Above all, the art style really impressed me. Magazine clippings, fabric and more are used to make up the illustrations. I'm still catching up on modern kid's books and don't know if this is a common thing now, but directions like this always catch my eye when I see it. The only downside is that it seems to be a little spendy for such a short, simple book. Highly recommended for younger kids, or anyone who just plain likes ninjas.
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on July 4, 2013
I read the reviews before buying...and this is a real let down. There's no all. Maybe 15 words in the whole book and the illustrations are just a silhouette of a boy. None of my kids ..ages 7,6 and 3 found any interest at all.
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What an awesome book!!!! Yes, it's true that there is not a ton of verbiage in this book, but it's meant to be fun and stir the imagination of little girls and boys that are of an age, where more than 40 words on a page are hard to retain. It's meant for the reader (kid) to imagine their own adventures during a time of day when the rest of the world is asleep.

So when you read this to/with your child, slow down and let them think over their own ninja fantasy, let them really get engrossed in the artwork and picture themselves as a kitchen-assassin, out to devour their own little treat, while others are sleeping away.

If your kid likes this, you'll read it with them dozens of times. Then pass the book along! And if they don't like it during the first read, wait a few months, then give the child another chance to imagine their little escapade.

Thanks for reading and let's all read just a little more to our kids!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 14, 2012
Love, love, love Ed Young's artwork for this book. It's just wonderful... and fun. The colors are are striking, his work sometimes kid-simple, and at other times intricate and subtle. And it combines with Barbara DaCosta's terse text to make for a boy-friendly bedtime read.

Not that adventure-girls! won't love it too, but it's a book with an undercurrent of sneaking craftiness as as a trip to the kitchen is disguised as a a ninja mission.

Good fun. It's nice to have a beautiful book that can be used as a bedtime read that doesn't involve fluffy bears and pink ponies.

Pam T~
grown-up adventure girl!
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on September 23, 2012
It is nighttime. Everyone is asleep. Suddenly, a black figure appears. It is Nighttime Ninja. He is on a secret mission, creeping through the house, in search of....And then, just as suddenly, the lights flash on, and Nighttime Ninja is...caught! Caught by his mother. His cup of hot chocolate is confiscated. Nighttime Ninja is sent back to bed.

Wonderful cut paper illustrations by cut paper master Ed Young. A lovely mysterious story that all little ninjas will love.

Thank you to Little Brown for this review copy.
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on April 16, 2016
The title of this book caught my attention which is why I purchased it without really looking through it. I usually at least do a quick flip. If I had done so, I would have known this is essentially a picture book with very few words. The book is targeted for kids 4-7 but in truth, I think it is more 2-5 and only that high in age because an emerging reader could handle it.

The book starts out really cute, as the reader has to turn the book sideways to the first two pages, to see black and gray ninjas coming down the page. One appears largely on the second page.
The book then has a myriad of pages with this ninja making different moves and being very stealth.

He finally gets to his goal which is in the kitchen but gets stopped at the most unlikely character. I will not reveal what he is after or who stops him because well, it would ruin the entire story.

I have to say, I was really not impressed with this book. I thought there could have been so much more writing done to make it even cuter. Also, the artwork was done with paper cuttings which are fine but when the artist put the pages together, I could see the white lines of the pages and could tell it was not put together well. That was unfortunate. I think it would have been better with another form of artwork

I will give this book 3 stars but only because the premise is cute and young kids might like it. The author had a good idea but, it just went sour. It is not one I personally would reread.

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon
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on February 17, 2013
My mom and I gave this as a gift for my niece for her birthday. I heard about it last summer through the Little, Brown YouTube channel and saw it as a book I would have liked to have read when I was at the appropriate age. Besides, after seeing the book selection she was given by others last year, I figured that she should be given something both a little different but also just as appealing for children.
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on February 14, 2013
A little boy ninja is on a top secret mission... for chocolate. The text is quite spare, as befitting a nearly silent ninja. The multimedia collage artwork features torn magazine pages, fabric and origami paper. There's a real sense of derring do as the child ninja effortlessly leaps, jumps and climbs past any obstacle to get to his goal. What a great treat for ninja fans.
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