[I received a review copy of this book from the author. No other compensation was received.]
Ninja Mouse: Haiku, told in 17 haiku, is about a mouse that lives the warrior’s way. This book simultaneously entertains, teaches, and leaves you feeling contemplative. Ninja Mouse: Haiku has a serious, but friendly, tone to it. The graphic novel/heavy-lined illustrations make Ninja Mouse interesting and to juxtapose these images with an ancient form of Japanese poetry creates something new entirely. This is a fun and interesting way to introduce children to haiku.
The first time you read it you’ll most likely think, “It’s a good book.” You may nod your head and shrug a little. But the more you think about this book, the more you will realize how every detail has been perfectly planned. To begin with, the book is a haiku in and of itself. The 17 haiku together form one haiku that is the picture book. The five-seven-five syllable structure of haiku gently forms the structure of the story. Next, the book is short. (Which makes it a perfect bedtime story when they cry for just one more!) It doesn’t take a long time to read it, but it lingers. My son would ask many questions, at times randomly, about various things presented in Ninja Mouse — such as drinking the universe, shunning negativity, solitude, bending to conflict, freedom from things, and protecting the weak. It is impressive to see how deeply this book can sink into your psyche.
Ninja Mouse: Haiku is refreshing in that it is a story about a ninja that is always calm and each action is intentional and deliberate. This is not a kicking, whacking, or goofy ninja tale. It is a calming and peaceful book, though not a pacifistic book. There is a moment of violence in Ninja Mouse that is… understandable. I can see why this book is recommended for ages nine and above, but we really love it and I have no qualms about reading it to my four-year-old son. It is so refreshing to read a non-goofy ninja picture book that is accessible to children. I love silly and goofy books, but it is so nice to read a book with my son that nourishes his budding struggle of how he should live.
Ninja Mouse: Haiku is a rare book that promotes strength and peace. Its excellent illustrations and profound haiku are a wonderful example as to how picture books can help children and adults strive to live a better life.
Ages 9+ (My four-year-old son loves it, so I’d say 4+). SuperUltraGo! Press. October 2014. 40 pages. ISBN: 978-0991324033. Fiction.
Where to Get it:
- [Affiliate Link] Amazon.com
- [Independent Bookstore] — Ask your local bookstore to order it.
- [Library] Woldcat.org — Ask your local library to order it.
You Should Read Ninja Mouse: Haiku because:
- You want to take some time to contemplate and talk with your children about how to be a good person — but you don’t want to lecture them, you want to engage them.
- It’s beautiful! It’s about a ninja mouse! It’s about a beautiful ninja mouse!
- It promotes peace and goodness.
- It’s one of the very few ninja picture books for children that isn’t goofy. The ninja may be a mouse, but it isn’t silly. It’s elegant and artfully done.
- It’s in Japanese and English. I’m always trying to introduce my son to different languages and cultures and Ninja Mouse is a subtle and beautiful way to do so.
- While this book has a serious tone, it still has some humor, happiness, and leaves you with a transcendental feeling.
- If you have a child that “HAI YAS!” all over the house — this book adeptly and quietly reminds them that ninjas don’t really act like that — ninjas are quiet, self-controlled, and disciplined.
- This is a great way to introduce haiku. I’m so happy that my son’s first real conversation about haiku was because of us reading this book.
- There are so many layers to this book. The more you read and think about this book, the more you will realize how every detail — down to the last syllable — was meticulously and deliberately contemplated.
Author and Illustrator Websites:
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Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the author. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit. It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”