by David Bruins and Hilary Leung

Kids Can Press, $16.95, 24 pages

Friendships are not always perfect. Even a best friend may do or say something that annoys you, but you accept it and move on. That is part of what friendship means. What happens when you put a ninja, a cowboy, and a bear together in a book about friendship and compromise? You get Ninja Cowboy Bear Presents the Call of the Cowboy, a funny story by author David Bruins and illustrator Hilary Leung.

Ninja and Bear love Cowboy, their dear friend. He is funny, caring, and kind. But boy, can he cause a ruckus. Wherever they are, Cowboy can find any way to make noise. During a basketball game he repeatedly blows the whistle. While bike riding, he honks his horn. At lunch, he slurps his soup! One day Ninja and Bear have had enough and they decide that being alone in peace is better than being with noisy Cowboy. What must the three friends do to come back together again for more fun and adventure? Young readers will love Leung’s bright, bold illustrations. There are small details on each page that will inspire kids to search for new ones every time they read the book.

Kathryn Franklin