CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 10. . . .November 6, 2015
The little ninjas are back for another round of riotous fun, but this time they take it out of the dojo on a day trip to the farm. The excitement of the change of scenery riles up the little ninjas, sending them on a running, chasing, and roundhouse kicking free-for-all as soon as they get off the bus. While the master desperately attempts to demonstrate farm chores – to disastrous results – the ninjas continue to neglect their creed to “always help someone in need”. It may take a while for them to take stock of the problems, but once they realize what’s going on, they work together to save their master and tidy the farm, leaving it in better shape than when they arrived.
This follow-up to 2014’s Dojo Daycare retains the chaotic spirit of the first and doesn’t stray from the formula that worked so well the first time. A mark of a great picture book is a seamless marriage between illustration and text – where one would not be as successful without the other. In the case of Dojo Daytrip, the words tell a simple story, with a solid moral, while the pictures make it hilarious and give it life. The digitally rendered images carry a lot of the weight, giving the reader details that are absent in the text. Children familiar with the first book will be eager to experience the fun and dysfunction all over again, but it is effective as a stand-alone as well.
With indispensable detail coming from the images, Dojo Daytrip works better as a one-one-one read, or with a small group, so that everyone can take the necessary time poring over the pictures of this uproarious adventure.
Amber Allen is a librarian in Toronto, ON, with a passion for children’s literature and writing.
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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.