The Boy Who Cried Ninja

Overview

Tim witnesses some strange happenings around his house, but no one believes his explanations. In fact, no matter what Tim says, his parents just punish him with chores. To save himself, he hatches a clever plan to expose the truth. Will it work, or will Tim have to spend the rest of his life raking the yard? Bubbling with wit and humor from start to finish, author-illustrator Alex Latimer's debut picture book will have readers of all ages laughing out loud.

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Overview

Tim witnesses some strange happenings around his house, but no one believes his explanations. In fact, no matter what Tim says, his parents just punish him with chores. To save himself, he hatches a clever plan to expose the truth. Will it work, or will Tim have to spend the rest of his life raking the yard? Bubbling with wit and humor from start to finish, author-illustrator Alex Latimer's debut picture book will have readers of all ages laughing out loud.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Latimer, a South African artist making his children's book debut, turns in an amusing twist on The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Tim isn't lying: a ninja really does sneak into his house and eat the last slice of cake—kicking it into the air first, as ninjas do. An astronaut in need of a hammer really does take one from Tim's father's workshop, and a giant squid really does eat Tim's book bag. But Tim discovers that, due to the preposterous nature of the truth, he's punished by his parents whether he tells the truth or not. At last he succeeds in luring the creatures out into the open where his family can see them, with triumphant results: "They said sorry and promised to buy him a hundred ice creams." Latimer's understated line drawings add to the fun; his creatures have pin-dot eyes and blank expressions that belie the havoc they're wreaking. The time-traveling monkey in underpants who appears on the television and starts throwing pencils at Grampa might be the best moment. Older siblings may sneak in while this one is being read aloud. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Ninjas are all the rage right now, so this book—a sort of "Peter and the Wolf" in a hyperdriven, upside-down world—is sure to draw attention of bookstore or library patrons. When Tim's mom asks him what happened to the last piece of cake, Tim tells her that a ninja crept in and stole it. When his dad asks him about a missing hammer, Tim tells him that an astronaut borrowed it. When Grampa asks him about his homework, Tim tells him that a giant squid ate his backpack, homework and all. To say that his family is upset with Tim's lies is an understatement. Since they won't believe the (outlandish) truth, Tim decides to lie in the future. He takes the blame for a pirate who drinks all of the tea out of the pot, for a crocodile who breaks the TV antenna, and for a pencil-throwing, time-traveling monkey. To say that his family is upset with "Tim's" bad behavior is an understatement. What is he to do? Tim devises a plan. He writes party invitations to all of the culprits. All turns out well in the end. Latimer's book is delightfully preposterous. The sometimes-dull story could benefit from more action, but young readers will happily enjoy the detailed illustrations and be pleased by Tim's ability to come out on top. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—When Tim tells his parents the truth—that a ninja ate the last slice of cake, that an astronaut took his dad's hammer, and that a giant squid ate his homework—they send him out to rake leaves and think about his habit of telling lies. When he tells lies instead and takes sole responsibility for the missing tea that a pirate drank, for the TV antenna that a sunburned crocodile broke, and for the cascade of pencils that a time-traveling monkey threw at Grampa while he slept, his parents send him out to water the garden and think over his bad behavior. Any reasonably imaginative child will relate to this kind of no-win situation. Maybe watering vegetables also fertilizes the brain, because Tim has a very good idea that brings about a happy resolution, including lots of ice cream, the best party ever, and a nice, clean yard. Latimer has created offbeat digitally colored drawings brimming with quirky, diverse perspectives and hilarious details.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561457748
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 335,243
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 0.50 (w) x 1.90 (h) x 11.40 (d)

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