The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear

The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear

4.5 2
by David Bruins
     
 

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The ninja, the cowboy and the bear do everything together —- they paint pictures, compare cloud shapes in the sky, fly kites and much more. Though each friend is very different from one another, they enjoy each other's company. Until one day when they begin quarreling and compete to see which one is the best. The bear can pile up rocks the highest. The cowboy

Overview

The ninja, the cowboy and the bear do everything together —- they paint pictures, compare cloud shapes in the sky, fly kites and much more. Though each friend is very different from one another, they enjoy each other's company. Until one day when they begin quarreling and compete to see which one is the best. The bear can pile up rocks the highest. The cowboy can collect the most raspberries. The ninja can catch the most rabbits. When each contest leads to more resentment, it seems the friends will never stop disagreeing. Only when they learn to be considerate of their differences do they finally realize how much they appreciate each other.

The cute, yet stylized artwork combined with a fun story about friendship and celebrating differences make this legend an unforgettable one.

This playfully illustrated picture book also includes instructions for the Ninja-Cowboy-Bear game, which is similar to Rock Paper Scissors except that kids use their whole body.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/27/2015
This comic book—style story features three amiable characters who challenge each other to a series of contests only to realize that "no one had to be the best. They were each special and unique—just like you and me." Leung's action-filled, brightly-colored illustrations, which have a burnished, wood-grain quality, seem ready-made for animation. With style and humor, the collaborators show how the bear's strength allows him to build a higher rock pile than the ninja, the cowboy's "precision and accuracy" allows him to pick more raspberries than the bear, and the ninja's agility allows him to catch more rabbits than the cowboy. The simple story about accepting one's gifts also provides the basis for a game featuring the three characters, which is described at the end of the book. A variation of "rock-paper-scissors," the game does not rely on hand signals, but encourages children to use full body play as "ninja beats cowboy," "cowboy beats bear," and "bear beats ninja" (an online version of the game is also available, but seems like scant fun compared to striking bear and ninja poses). Ages 4—7. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
In all it’s a wonderfully integrated package about friendship, competition and the celebration of difference.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This fable stars three very different friends: a ninja, a cowboy, and a bear. They usually get along well, but then one day a disagreement erupts. Each one believes that he is the best. To prove this, they compete in rock piling, raspberry picking, and rabbit catching. Since a different character wins each one of these competitions, they all feel unsatisfied and part ways to reflect upon the day. All three reach the same conclusion: each is unique and special in his own way. Thus, their friendship is restored. Readers can take the story a step further with the Ninja Cowboy Bear Game, which is strongly reminiscent of Rock Paper Scissors. The digital-cartoon illustrations are set in comic panels; the art and the occasional Japanese word bubble give the story an anime feel. A fun purchase with a solid message.—Laura Butler, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Once there were three best friends: a ninja, a cowboy and a bear, and they did everything together. They are all individuals, however, and one day ninja and bear quarrel. When they ask cowboy who is better, cowboy can't decide . . . so he devises a contest. Who can make the bigger pile of rocks? "Although the ninja tried his best, in the end his pile was much smaller than the bear's. So the bear boasted that he was unbeatable." That causes the cowboy to disagree, and another contest ensues. When cowboy wins that one and boasts, ninja disagrees. After the third contest, everyone is quarrelling again-until they individually come to the conclusion that they each have their strengths. Leung's digital illustrations are a perfect blend of Saturday-morning cartoon and manga, and much of the humor is contained within their play off the deadpan text. In all it's a wonderfully integrated package about friendship, competition and the celebration of difference. The game at the back (a version of rock, paper, scissors substituting the characters) will have children hopping up for their own competitions. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554534869
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Series:
Ninja Cowboy Bear Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

David Bruins lives in Dundas, Ontario, and spends most of his days as a computer programmer. However, he'd much rather spend his time riding his bicycle, playing guitar or telling stories to anyone who will listen.

Hilary Leung is a graphic artist in Burlington, Ontario, and a graduate of the illustration program at Sheridan College. His work for Kids Can Press includes the very popular Ninja Cowboy Bear series.

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Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Miss_JJ More than 1 year ago
Ninja, Cowboy, and Bear are best friends who love do everything together, until one day a game goes awry. Suddenly everything becomes a competition and each friend wants to declare himself "the best." Over time, the friends come to realize that each has their own unique talents to contribute, and there is no need to constantly try to one up each other. Although it borders on being too didactic, I really enjoyed this book. It's a great lesson for kids (and honestly, let's face it, some adults) to learn/be reminded of from time to time. The three disparate characters make it interesting, and these popular children's figures were clearly picked to appeal to young boys (and I think the book will no doubt prove successful in that). The illustrations are also fun, with an energy and sharpness about them that is pleasing and engaging. The only downside to this book is it tries to be more exciting by adding a "game" at the end, which is basically a large motor pantomime version of "Rock Paper Scissors" replaced with "Ninja Cowboy Bear." It just seemed a little strange to me to include something so mindlessly competitive after concluding a tale all about acceptance and discovering one's own special abilities, without having to lord them over someone else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I used this book in a classroom lesson to help teach respect. We discussed how each character was unique and how we should respect differences. I also love the moment in the book where they all take some time to themselves to think about the conflict. We also played "ninja, cowboy, bear" game after the story which was a huge hit (just like paper, rock, scissors except you act it out). I highly recommend this book!