The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear by David Bruins and Hilary Leung
Eli said, “I want a picture book about Ninjas.” Listen here, children’s book authors: here is the niche that needs to be filled. There are practically no ninja books for 4-year-olds. When read Eli the title of this book, he just about fell over. A ninja cowBOY BEAR??!? We had to inter-library-loan it, and I do think he was a mite disappointed to learn that the book is about three separate creatures (a ninja, a cowboy, and a bear). Still. At least there’s a ninja in it. Basically, the ninja, the cowboy, and the bear get into an argument over who is better, and in the end discover that they all have their own special strengths. And then there’s a funny little rock, paper, scissors-esque game to play at the end, which featured extremely confusing hand and body gestures, although Henry got it right away and was ninja-cowboy-bearing all over the living room. The illustrations have that kind of Dan Yaccarino cuteness which the kids love (but which I find a little flat sometimes, to be honest). But hey! Did I mention there’s a ninja?