Review Blog

Jul 02 2015

Samurai vs Ninja series by Nick Falk and Tony Flowers

cover image

Random House Australia, 2015.
The battle for the golden egg. ISBN 9780857986054
The race for the shogun's treasure. ISBN 9780857986368
(Age: Yr 2+) The publisher's blurb for this series says, 'In the Edo Period of Japan, two teams fight for supremacy - the serious samurai and the scheming ninjas. To determine who is the best, a deadly contest is held. The prize is the Golden Egg, the most magnificent treasure in all of Japan. But when the ninjas cheat, the samurai will stop at nothing to get revenge. Tighten your topknot and sharpen your sword - the Samurai vs Ninja battle is about to begin!' And so begins another action-packed series from this talented pairing of Nick Falk and Tony Flowers who brought us both Saurus Street and Billy is a dragon.
This series is set 300 years ago when the serious Samurai with their smooth, straight kamishimo and tight topknots lived in a castle on the tip of the Mountain of the Tiger's Claw and the silly Ninja with their ripped and wrinkled shinobi shozoku and looped and loose obi lived in a castle at the tip of the neighbouring Mountain of the Dragon's Claw. Because the Samurai practise the ancient art of Nodo no Kingyo (the Way of the Thirsty Goldfish) and the Ninja, the ancient art of Mink-u-i-Buta (the Way of the Ugly Pig) the scene is set for conflict - and it is not long before it begins. The Samurai challenge the Ninja to a contest - and through crazy characters with even crazier ideas the reader is taken on an hilarious but suspenseful adventure. Despite the traditional honour and fairness normally associated with these protagonists, the reader sees a totally different side of them that provide many LOL moments!
Capitalising on the craze for things Japanese as manga-type stories permeate through to our youngest readers, this is an energetic, fast-moving series that will capture the imaginations of younger readers who are ready for independent reading but still need the support of short text and illustrations which are integral to that text. Falk and Flowers seem to feed off each other in a symbiotic relationship that knows exactly what their audience wants and how to give it to them and offer stories that are going to maintain that zest for reading as the transition from instructional reader to free choice is made. With chapters finishing at just the right time and the book finishing on a cliff-hanger that sets up the next episode, the books make perfect read-alouds which will have their listeners demanding more and scurrying to the library looking for the next in the series. And they won't have long to wait because Day of the dreadful undead and Curse of the Oni will be released on 1 July. In my school where we have many Japanese students and Japanese is taught across the school, I can see this series being the hit it deserves to be!
Barbara Braxton

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Indie Book Awards 2017
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates