The Ninjabread Man by C. J. Leigh, pictures by Chris Gall

Published by Orchard Books


Summary:  As a reward to his hardworking ninja students, Sensei makes ninjabread, an age-old recipe that contains mysterious powers.  After making ninjabread swords and throwing stars, he makes a Ninjabread Man.  When Sensei checks to see how the cookies are baking, ka-pow!  The Ninjabread Man comes to life and runs off.  He taunts the other students, Bear, Snake, and Mouse, with different variations of the “You can’t catch me” rhyme.  Finally, he comes upon Fox, meditating by a waterfall.  Fox cleverly pretends he can’t hear the Ninjabread Man, luring him closer until the sly canine scarfs him up.  And in another dojo far away, another sensei begins the process of making ninjabread.  Includes recipe and brief glossary.  40 pages; ages 4-6.

Pros:  In this season of gingerbread men, kids will enjoy comparing the traditional tale with the ninja version.

Cons:  The ending was a bit of an anticlimax.

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