Wednesday, January 4, 2012

LEGO NINJAGO #1: The Challenge of Samukai!

Article by Scott Tingley

I sat down at my computer this evening intending to go through a recently published comic, an adaptation of Lego’s newest big toy line, Ninjago. I don’t usually talk about books like this on my site – books that are essentially ads for toys, but Lego was about the only thing that made it through the Christmas season at my house without breaking so I have no problem reviewing this book (Seriously, have you ever gotten a Lego set with a missing piece? What great quality control).

Thing is, I am having some trouble locating my copy of Ninjago: The Challenge of Samukai, the first Ninjago comic published by Papercutz. As soon as I showed it to my four year old son, Jack it was no longer my book to review, it was his to play with. He can’t read yet, but I have never seen him want to read so badly. At the time he owned none of the Lego sets and had not seen the cartoon, but he immediately wanted to know everything about these characters. He quickly learned the Ninja’s names and he and his sister pretended they were ninja for a couple of days.

My son is asleep now and I seriously cannot find the book. He has it squirreled away somewhere and it will pop up sometime soon when he feels ninja-y. Luckily, my boy did have me read it to him, so I can touch on a few points.

The art was appropriate for the book. This may sound like faint praise for the artist, Paulo Henrique but with books of this type the art has to fit a certain style – in this case it has to look like Lego. Henrique does a fine job stylistically (everything looks like Lego) and his storytelling was quite clear. This book is intended for ages 6 and up and if the storytelling is not interesting and clear for these young readers then they will simply stop reading, never to return.

Greg Farshtey is the author and I really appreciated how he broke the story down into 5 or so page chapters. I read it to my son and it was easier for him (me too) to stay interested when we could read it in one or two chapter intervals. At first glance the pages looked a bit wordy, but as I read it I realized that it wasn’t wordy for the sake of filling up the page. I won’t mention here other adaptations of popular characters that I loathed reading simply because the book would not shut up.

Here is Jack’s review of the book:

They ride blizzards and they jump a lot…Read all this, Daddy. Read all of these squares. This one is running through the spikes and he has really fast powers so he can break the walls down. Read this for me now please.

That is a pretty good endorsement from the target audience.

My son, Jack and I approve this book and we recommend it. See a sample chapter HERE.

LEGO NINJAGO #1: The Challenge of Samukai!
Papercutz
November 8, 2011/Ages 6 and up
$6.99 paperback (USA)/ISBN: 978-1597072977
$10.99 hardcover (USA)/ISBN: 978-1597072984

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1 comment:

janna morishima said...

What a sweet and wonderful review! Thank you so much, Scott. We are thrilled that Jack squirreled away his Ninjago book.... Hope he has more fun with the characters in his imagination.