Ninja Hams Kick Wolf Butt
By Corey Rosen Schwartz, Illustrated by Dan Santat
Penguin Young Readers Group, $16.99, 32 pages
Sometimes fairy tales can get stranger. The Big Bad Wolf has become the village bully and three little pigs decide to become The Three Ninja Pigs. Each pig trains at the local dojo and they then decide to go after the wolf. The first little pig tries, fails, and the wolf destroys his house of straw. The second tries, fails, and the wolf destroys his house of bamboo. Their sister studies hard, and decides to take on the wolf. Let’s just say the little pigs all dedicate themselves to the martial arts after a quick party at the brick house.
This is a fun book. There’s a minor bit of political correctness regarding female empowerment, and there is too big of an effort to make it generically Oriental, but this is otherwise a great book. There are visual in-jokes for the martial arts movie crowd, and the art has just enough of an Oriental flavor to be interesting. The wolf as Oriental villain is definitely an interesting twist, including his red gi. This will be a fun book for the younger kids to read, and even some of the older ones depending on how interested they are in the martial arts.
Reviewed By Jamais Jochim