________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 39. . . .June 10, 2016


The Ninjabread Man. (Tadpoles: Fairytale Twists).

Katrina Charman. Illustrated by Fabiano Fiorin.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2016.
32 pp., pbk., hc., & html, $8.95 (pbk.), $25.95 (List RLB), $20.76 (School RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-2568-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-2472-8 (RLB), ISBN 978-1-4271-7724-7 (html).

Grades 1-2 / Ages 6-7.

Review by Jane Whittingham.

*** /4


The Ninjabread man rolled right over the cow’s back.

Ka-Pow! Hi-Yah! And Shazam!

You can’t catch me, I’m the Ninjabread man.


This entry in the “Tadpoles: Fairytale Twists” series turns the classic story of the Gingerbread Man on its head, replacing the titular baked hero with a high-kicking Ninjabread man who “Ka-Pow”s his way through the countryside. Unlike the original fairy tale, in which the runaway gingerbread man eventually ends up in the jaws of a tricky fox, The Ninjabread Man ends on a much more positive note. After overestimating his abilities and nearly ending up being swept away by a river, the Ninjabread man is rescued by the old man who created him. The Ninjabread man is impressed by the old man’s skills, recognizes his own limitations, and eventually enrolls in ninja school so he can learn from the master.

     Ninjas continue to be a popular topic in children’s books, and children will likely be drawn to this silly reinterpretation of a classic fairy tale. There’s a good amount of repetition, the text is clear and easy to read, and there are some helpful notes for adults in the back of the book that support literacy skills development. For ninja-loving emerging readers looking for something simple and a bit silly, The Ninjabread Man might be a good title to try.


Jane Whittingham is a Children's Librarian with the Vancouver Public Library.

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

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