Ninja Meerkats (#1): The Clan of the Scorpion

Ninja Meerkats (#1): The Clan of the Scorpion

2.6 5
by Gareth P. Jones, Luke Finlayson
     
 

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Jet Flashfeet, Chuck Cobracrusher, Donnie Dragonjab, and Bruce Willowhammer . . . Together they are THE CLAN OF THE SCORPION!

Armed to the teeth with ninja know-how, this ultimate fighting force has one goal--to thwart the evil Ringmaster's plans for world domination. Ninja-Boom!

A tiger is missing from Hong Kong Zoo, but this is no ordinary big cat--and she

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Overview

Jet Flashfeet, Chuck Cobracrusher, Donnie Dragonjab, and Bruce Willowhammer . . . Together they are THE CLAN OF THE SCORPION!

Armed to the teeth with ninja know-how, this ultimate fighting force has one goal--to thwart the evil Ringmaster's plans for world domination. Ninja-Boom!

A tiger is missing from Hong Kong Zoo, but this is no ordinary big cat--and she won't be found by sticking "Lost!" posters on lampposts. When the meerkats find a clown-shaped Clue in the Poo at the zoo, it can only mean one thing: the Ringmaster and his Circus Goons are in town. It's time for the Ninja Meerkats to leap into action!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally published in the U.K., this first book in the Ninja Meerkats series introduces Jet Flashfeet, Chuck Cobracrusher, Donnie Dragonjab, and Bruce Willowhammer, four wisecracking meerkats trained in the martial arts. Comparisons to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are both obvious and apt—this crew also has a tendency toward making pun-centric bad jokes, and they have both a Splinteresque sensei and an archrival in the form of the Ringmaster and his two bumbling henchmen. Finlayson’s clean cartoon spot illustrations add to the carnival atmosphere (literally), as the meerkats attempt to recover a rare stolen tiger. Equal parts silliness and action. Available simultaneously: The Eye of the Monkey. Ages 7–9. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Leah Hanson
A rare white tigress has gone missing from the Hong Kong Zoo, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Ming is no ordinary cat—when she performs the Roar of Victory, anyone in earshot falls into a trance and must do the bidding of the next voice that speaks. The zookeepers certainly don't know this top-secret information but Chuck Cobracrusher, leader of a clan of ninja meerkats does, and he and his trusty crime-fighting buddies are on the case. After smuggling their way onto an airplane to Hong Kong, they start their search for the missing cat. Their worst fears are realized when they discover the nasty villain behind the deed is none other than the Ringmaster, an enemy they've encountered before. And to make matters worse the clan is separated and Jet and Bruce are captured by the Ringmaster's minions. Can Chuck save his friends and the tiger? Or will Ming's roar be the last sound the world hears? This fast-paced, action-packed adventure is witty, suspenseful and just plain fun. Groan-worthy jokes and puns add just the right amount of grade-school humor, while also subtly highlighting how language can be playful. Jones' illustrations propel the plot forward, and will have young readers eagerly turning the pages for more. An interview with the author at the back of the book allows fans an inside glimpse into the making of the book, as well as inspiration for budding young authors. Reviewer: Leah Hanson
Kirkus Reviews
A fuzzy version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. British author Jones brings furry new heroes up from the depths of the Red Desert. The Clan of the Scorpion is a secret ninja organization made up of meerkats. Boastful Jet Flashfeet, inventor/genius Donnie Dragonjab and muscle Bruce Willowhammer are led by the pun-as-proverb–spouting Chuck Cobracrusher. When Ming the tiger goes missing, the meerkats know something foul is afoot, as Ming possesses a rare and secret ability, the Roar of Victory, which is used for mind control. They know her disappearance could only be the work of their nefarious, circus-themed archnemesis, the Ringmaster. He plans on using Ming to brainwash the entire world. To solve the mystery of the missing Ming, the Clan of the Scorpion must travel to Hong Kong and battle their way through the Ringmaster's henchmen, all while keeping themselves secret and disguised from normal humans. The fight scenes are comical—at one point, the heroes incapacitate enemies by tying their shoelaces together. The meerkat ninja team combats evil clowns and even a trained circus poodle. Illustrations amp up the humor, taking advantage of comedic visuals. The jokes fly just as fast as Jet's fists. Straightforward and humorous throughout, the story is ideal for reluctant readers. Fast, funny and charming. (character profiles) (Adventure. 7-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250016645
Publisher:
Square Fish
Publication date:
01/22/2013
Series:
Ninja Meerkats Series, #1
Edition description:
STRIPPABLE
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
572,004
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE 

THE MISSING TIGER 

 

From the outside, the Clan of the Scorpion’s secret base looked like one of a number of meerkat burrows in the Red Desert. But while some of the neighboring meerkats had welcomed wildlife documentary makers into their homes, the Clan had to be more careful about who they let in.

You see, film crews do not expect to find a central chamber filled with fighting staffs, swords, throwing stars, nunchucks, and a whole range of other gadgets at the heart of a meerkat burrow.

So the Clan kept nosy filmmakers at arm’s length for fear of their true identity being revealed.… Actually, further than that, as a meerkat’s arm is hardly very long at all.

Jet Flashfeet had just entered the central chamber. He had his trusty nunchucks in a specially designed holster, and was carrying a book under his arm called, 101 More Martial Arts Moves by Kara T. Kick. “Hey, who wants to try out this new move I just read about?”

“Not me. I’m busy with this,” replied Donnie Dragonjab, tapping away on a touchscreen phone he had recently acquired from a careless documentary maker.

Bruce Willowhammer looked up from the middle of the chamber, where he was doing one-armed push-ups. “What is that, Donnie?” he asked.

“It’s a Bluetooth, WAP-enabled mobile device,” replied Donnie.

Bruce stopped mid push-up and stared at him blankly.

“It’s a phone,” explained Donnie.

“We’ve already got phones,” said Bruce. With his free arm he pulled out the mini cell phone that Donnie had made for each Clan member so that they could keep in contact during missions.

“You’ll be able to throw away that old thing once I’ve figured out how to reduce this down to a more usable size,” said Donnie. “This can surf the Internet and give us up-to-date news from around the world with a simple click of a button. It’s going to completely revolutionize the way we work.”

Jet rolled his eyes impatiently. “Sounds great. Now, Bruce, will you try this new move with me?”

“All right, but can I have a snack first? I’m starving.”

“You’re always starving. Can’t you wait? The helicopter leap will only take a minute,” replied Jet.

“The what?” said Bruce.

“The helicopter leap. We link paws and spin around, then I count to three and we jump together and—Ninja-boom!—we fly up into the air like a helicopter.”

“Why would we want to do that?”

“Because it’s cool and it might come in handy.”

“That’s good enough for me. Let’s do it,” said Bruce.

“I have to see this.” Donnie swiveled around to watch.

Jet and Bruce moved to the middle of the room. They stood on their hind legs, looked from side to side, then bowed to each other in the usual manner. They held paws, leaned back, and began to move slowly around in a circle.

“Shall I put some music on?” said Donnie, sniggering at the sight of stocky, muscular Bruce apparently dancing with nimble, lean Jet.

Jet ignored him. “Faster now,” he said. “And try not to step on my feet.”

“Sorry,” Bruce mumbled.

They sped up, moving faster and faster until Jet yelled, “Jump!”

For a moment it looked like it was going to work. The two meerkats lifted off the ground, spinning in midair, but suddenly they whirled out of control, whizzing across the floor and knocking over a pile of weapons and tools in the process.

“Whooahhh!” cried Bruce.

“If that’s what a helicopter is like, I think I’ll stick to planes,” said Donnie, laughing, as Bruce and Jet came to a halt in a confused heap by the entrance to the chamber.

Just then, Chuck Cobracrusher, the fourth member and leader of the Clan, appeared.

“The helicopter leap requires much practice,” he said, stepping over Jet and Bruce. “Few achieve it on their first try.”

“It was his fault. He’s too heavy,” said Jet, springing to his feet. He pulled out a comb and straightened the fur on top of his head.

“No, Jet, that is not the problem. You are too hasty. Given time you will master this move,” said Chuck. “Another new gadget, Donnie?”

“It’s a blue-toothed whack-a-table phone,” said Bruce, butting in.

“A Bluetooth, WAP-enabled phone,” corrected Donnie. “It’s amazing. I’m surfing the Net right now.”

“Technology is no substitute for the traditional ninja ways, but it can be useful,” Chuck admitted. He brushed his fur back from his face, revealing the cross-shaped scar below his eye. He had never told the others how he had come by the scar; all they knew was that it had been inflicted by their deadly enemy, the Ringmaster, many years ago. “Perhaps you can look up something for me, Donnie,” said Chuck. “A tiger has gone missing from the Hong Kong Zoo.”

Donnie typed a few words into a search engine and found a news article.

“Here it is. It says that Ming, a rare speckled-white tigress, went missing last night from the zoo and that the police have no leads as to who may have taken her. How did you know about this, Chuck?”

“My brother, Throw, lives at the zoo and he has been keeping an eye on Ming for me. He called just now to give me the news.”

“Your brother lives in a zoo?” said Bruce.

“Throw was never one for life in the wild. He prefers the conveniences of zoo life,” replied Chuck. “He would have called earlier, but he had to wait until the zoo closed to use the pay phone. Ming’s disappearance is of great significance.”

“A missing cat?” Jet shrugged. “Surely they’ll just stick a sign on a tree like everyone else?”

Chuck shook his head. “Ming is no ordinary tiger. She once belonged to my old samurai master, Luhk Hu Stalking. She was trained by Master Stalking and is the only living tiger capable of…” he paused, then said dramatically, “… the Roar of Victory.”

“Is that what you’d use to win a rowboat race?” smirked Donnie.

Roar, not oar,” replied Chuck. “Whoever hears it is instantly put into a trance and must do the bidding of the next voice he or she hears. Master Stalking was wise and only ever used it in extreme cases and always for good. Since he died, Ming has lived safely in the zoo, her power kept a secret. But it seems that someone has discovered her past. And I can think of at least one person who would want to get his hands on her.”

“The Ringmaster,” said Jet.

Chuck nodded. “Our deadly enemy certainly has a fascination for things with great power.”

“If he is behind this then we have no time to lose,” said Jet.

“This time your haste is well placed,” said Chuck. “I shudder to think of the damage he could do with such power. We must travel to Hong Kong at once. I will inform Grandmaster One-Eye of our departure.”

The four meerkats bowed to one another, then leaped into action. Another death-defying mission was about to begin.

 

Text copyright © 2011 by Gareth P. Jones

Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Luke Finlayson

Cover illustration copyright © 2011 by Domingos de Aquino

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