Viking/Penguin Group: NY, 2009.
Wink is enthusiastic about training to be a ninja. He has great balance, agility, and perseverance, but is lacking in one crucial ability - the skill to remain unnoticed. While his master is unimpressed and sends him home, Wink finds a place where he can show off his talent instead of hiding it.
This is a book young boys will especially love but is fun for all. There is much humor and action in the story. I enjoyed Wink's responses to the virtues of silence and patience and his master's reaction to his antics. Wink expresses himself with his whole self, and I like that he didn't lose his spirit, just found another way to be a ninja.
The illustrations are delightful. The action and emotion convey so much energy. There are many ninja poses and other dramatic poses. I love Phillipps's use of paper collage - the textures and designs in the paper and so many tiny details. Wink practicing his ninja stealth on the end pages is too funny, and so is his insistence on attracting attention, through color and drama.
This is one of the best picture books I've seen of those published this year. Great composition and story. And I have my librarian to thank for the recommendation.
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