Review Blog

Jun 30 2011

The Japanese Ninja surprise created by Jeff Brown, written by Sarah Pennypacker

cover image

(Flat Stanley series). Little Hare Books, 2011.ISBN 9781 405252102.
(Ages 7+) Humour. The character of Flat Stanley so loved in the 1960's is back in his own shorter novels for younger readers. The original series created by Jeff Brown was published continuously until the year of his death, 2003. It has its own website, and a project aimed at getting kids to write letters. There is even a Flat Stanley Day and he is one of President Obama's favourite children's books and so receives a great deal of publicity.
This book for newly arrived chapter book readers, has Stanley helping his hero, the ninja movie star, Oda Noopu, after posting himself to Japan to see him. On arrival, of course, all is not well with Oda and the pair teams up to solve his problems. Initially Oda uses Stanley to make an origami star, which displeases Stanley somewhat, but when Oda is kidnapped it is the trail of origami stars which lead him to his hero and  Stanley saves the day.  Stanley survives to return home to his adoring family. Readers will learn much about Japanese society from this charming small book, and will again be exposed to the story of Flat Stanley, of which there are many more.
Fran Knight

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