Little Kunoichi (koo•no•ee•chee) goes to a covert ninja school for girls where she is failing.  Pondering what to do about school in her secret hideaway, Little Kunoichi is surprised by a loud noise.  Chibi Samurai, a very small boy from a nearby village, is practicing, practicing, and then practicing some more his skills.  Watching Chibi, who isn’t so good either, inspires Little Kunoichi to follow his lead.  Will they shine at the Island Festival where students showcase their talents?  

Children who struggle with skills they want to be good at will find a friend in this title.  Introducing an important concept of eastern philosophy, shugyo, the lesson of fierce training for mastery is gently taught.  A quiet humor is carefully woven through the text and soft illustrations sure to bring smiles to both children and adults.  Don’t forget to seek out Little Kunoichi’s pet bunny in each picture!

Reviewed by Jennie Tuttle, Wickes Library

Recommended for ages 4-7.

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