________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 13 . . . . November 28, 2014


Dojo Daycare.

Chris Tougas.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2014.
32 pp., hardcover, pdf & EPUB, $16.95 (hc.), $9.99 (pdf), $9.99 (EPUB).
ISBN 978-1-77147-057-5 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77147-109-1 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-77147-110-7 (EPUB).

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 2-6.

Review by Amber Allen.

**** /4



Little ninja girls and boys
Fighting over ninja toys.
Pulling, pushing, tugging, taking,
Punching, kicking, busting, breaking.

It's a full blown ninja riot.
Master claps and calls out,

When six little ninjas get dropped off at Dojo Daycare, they immediately start a ninja riot. Fighting, throwing fits, acting rude; the children simply do not show any restraint despite their master's insistence that the young ninjas take the time to reflect on "honour, kindness, and respect." When the master finally reaches the point of hopelessness, one little ninja steps up to lead the group in cleaning up the mess they have made and showing the master (and each other) the appropriate respect.

internal art      Dojo Daycare is a very fun book to read aloud. It flows like a poem, with ideally timed repetition and standout onomatopoeia. The digitally rendered illustrations offer plenty of sight gags and mimic the text in chaos and excitement. The sharp, but simple colour palette helps the images to pop off the page and even the font (the text is set in Bang Whack Pow) makes an impression. Young children will really love to shout along with the "KABOOM! KAPOW!" refrain, and they will find endless entertainment in the individual actions of the six misbehaving ninjas.

      There is more to Dojo Daycare than riotous laughter, however, as there is a solid lesson to be learned. The master's mantra of "honour, kindness, and respect" may go unheeded for the majority of the story, but it, nonetheless, leaves an impression upon the little ninjas and the audience. It will require an effort on the part of the reader to reflect upon the characters' conduct, especially as the text hints that it was only a temporary behavioural change, but it's nice that there is a moral to be reflected upon. The pitch perfect combination of rhythm, repetition, content, and visuals in Dojo Daycare make it an excellent choice to be read to—or by—young children.

Highly Recommended.

Amber Allen is a librarian in Toronto, ON, with a passion for children's literature and writing.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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