Nina the Neighborhood Ninja, by Sonia Panigrahy | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | November 22, 2016
Written by Sonia Panigrahy
Illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla
Age Range: 4 and up
Paperback: 43 pages
Publisher: Tiny Sparks Press
What to expect: Being strong and intelligent, helping others, confidence
Nina is an ordinary girl with extraordinary powers: She is strong, she is smart and she is speedy! And she puts all of her hard work to good use saving animals around her neighborhood.
Nina is the neighborhood Ninja for a reason. She knows how to use her intelligence, strength and can-do attitude to accomplish anything. So when a day threatens to overwhelm her with things that need doing (or saving, or rescuing), Nina steps up her game to help. First up, rescuing a baby bird who has fallen from the nest. She successfully brings him back to his mother and celebrates with her friend, Fiona the firefly, by enjoying a delicious, enormous picnic! Next up she sees storm clouds, and a cat all alone outside. She builds it a quick shelter using leftover wood and other found objects, making sure he is snug and dry for the impending storm. Then, just as the drops start to fall and Nina runs for home and cover, she sees a family of turtles sinking in to a sandbox. Throwing thoughts of her dry home aside, Nina dives in to save them. That night, after a warm bath and fantastic celebratory dinner, her new animal friends come to visit and thank her for her help and bravery.
This is an absolutely adorable book about helping others. Nina gets her superpowers from trying hard and never giving up. She sees those in need and goes out of her way to help them. What a wonderful message for all children! The prose was funny and a bit cheeky, which will entertain parents and children. And the message was spot-on without being too preachy.
The illustrations were colorful, bright and fun. It felt like reading a cartoon, the pictures felt so alive. Nina is portrayed with a loving hand, and her perky pig-tail buns and fun outfit (purple skirt and orange polka dot pants, anyone?) remind kids of their own excellent wardrobe choices. I appreciated how diverse the book was, the overwhelmingly positive message, and the sweet story.
About the Author
Author Sonia Panigrahy, created Nina the Neighborhood Ninja out of a lifelong love of reading. As her family and friends begin to have children, she looked forward to sharing this love with them. She believes that books are a powerful way to empower impressionable young minds.
Sonia was surprised that she could not find books for girls ages 3-7 years that realistically identified females as intelligent, physically tough, brave, and adventurous. She was disappointed that girls continue to be excluded from the heart of the superhero story.
After unsuccessful attempts to find a young girl superhero protagonist on the pages of a book, especially one of color, she gave up. Then she created her own. Read more at soniapanigrahy.com
Nina the Neighborhood Ninja, by Sonia Panigrahy, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Nina the Neighborhood Ninja by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Books About Ninjas, Strong Female Characters, and Supernatural Powers Books.
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