September 13, 2014

Dojo Daycare

by Chris Tougas
32 pp.
Ages 3-7
For release September 15, 2014

In fun rhyming verse, author and illustrator Chris Tougas, takes the high spirits of ninja boys and girls and releases them in their new dojo daycare where Master attempts to harness their energy into reflecting on honor, kindness and respect. But the dojo is more playground than learning venue and the little ninjas, bare-footed and dressed in their black suits, tend to end up in a series of Kaboom! Kapow! riots, frustrating the Master throughout the day.

I wish I could reproduce Chris Tougas' endearing little ninjas here, but I can't possibly
demonstrate how the little ones seemingly pop off the page with every kick and pounce.  His illustrations, and explosive exclamations by the ninjas and their master, are bold and colourful, and digitally enhanced for the full power of a ninja kick.  This power is visually supported with the illustrator's choice of white as background, with only occasional shadows or swirls to create greater depth.

Pick out the endearing touches with your children, like the ninja mask on the goldfish, the ninja belting out "Hi-ya!" at the beginning and "Bye-ya!" at the end, or the sushi, noodles and chopsticks at lunch.  Dojo Daycare has the playfulness of any children's program in which young boys and girls, whether your's or ninjas', have fun and learn, although sometimes with more colourful spunk than expected.  

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