September 2, 2016

LITTLE KUNOICHI: THE NINJA GIRL

I can't believe it took me so long to find Little Kunoichi: The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida. It's such a beautiful book and has such a great message about working together and playing to our strengths. The text heavily features Japanese terminology, which is explained organically through conversation and often transliterated for pronunciation.
We can see from the illustrations that being a ninja runs in her family, and we immediately sympathize with her desire to do better in school and fit in with her family. Luckily Little Kunoichi soon discovers a friend and training parter in Chibi Samurai, a little boy at a local samurai school who is also struggling. The two work together to "shugyo," or train and better themselves, and it's interesting to watch their thought processes as they seek ways to reach their full potentials



The book has a square shape and a slight texture to the cover so it feels comfortable in our hands before we even open it. The soft watercolor illustrations help us feel at ease as Little Kunoichi tries to find her groove at her ninja school. The colors are bright but never so dense that you cant see the texture of the paper beneath the paint. Ishida has a great eye for detailing and patterning, so we get the best of both words as we flip through the pages.