A new picturebook came across my desk the other day and reminded me that I never got around to doing a ninja themed storytime. Really more villains than heroes, ninjas (like pirates) are bad guys we can’t help cheering for. Go, ninjas!
Ninja Bunny by Jennifer Olson
A ninja always works alone, but when you’re a ninja bunny, having back-up doesn’t hurt. This story doesn’t have much text but there is a lot going on in the pictures. It’s a good book to encourage new-comers to scoot up close and take a look at what’s happening. It also models dialogic reading for the parents.
Talking: Ask questions about the pictures in the story as you read. Making sense of the story is just as important as learning to read the words on the page.
Ninja, Ninja Never Stop by Todd Tuell
This is a fun book with lots of action words to grab the kids attention. I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile and kept putting it off. We had a lot of sibling groups tonight, which made for some good discussion about how we treat our little brothers and sisters.
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta
I adore the cut-paper silhouettes and the sparse text does a good job building suspense. It also makes me happy when I can end with a bedtime book.
I wanted an action song where the kids got to karate chop and say Hiyah! I thought my co-worker had done something similar at her previous ninja storytime, but I apparently imagined that 🙂 So, I wrote my own! The kids had a lot of fun acting it out:
Creep little ninja
Stay out of sight
Hiyah! little ninja
chop with all your might
Quick little ninja
fastest in the land
Climb little ninja
hand over hand
Balance little ninja
along the roof top
Quiet little ninja
it’s time for us to stop
I had fun explaining to the kids how all of the songs today were going to help them with their ninja skills
Ram Sam Sam (coordination)
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (agility)
Beanbag Song by Hap Palmer (balance)
There was a lot of initial excitement from some of the kids who noticed the Ninja theme (including a little girl in a Disney princess dress). They really got into the songs, but the books fell a little flat. I even modified the delivery of my early literacy tip to encourage parents to keep asking questions and giving space for a response, even if the children aren’t answering aloud, they are still thinking.