Kitten Ninja by Colleen A.F. Venable, Marcie Colleen & Ellen Stubbings

So I haven’t yet read any of the books in the Cat Ninja series that spawned this prequel, but I’m definitely thinking of getting a bunch to add to my kids’ personal library after enjoying this adorable entry!

Before he became the protector of Metro City, Cat Ninja was just a kitten, learning how to become a superhero by battling several rather commonplace, but no less powerful, foes. In this volume, Kitten Ninja takes on The Spot, The Ball Of Yarn, and The Snow. Each is a fearsome combatant, but in the grand tradition of graphic novels aimed at young readers everywhere, our hero eventually prevails.

While I found the chapter on the battle vs The Spot the most compelling — especially since I read it while in a very nap-inclined state myself — I do think that the best chapter was the one vs The Snow, perhaps because the stakes are higher. In that latter, Kitten Ninja is motivated by concern for his best friend, who’s being unfairly victimized. It’s a lovely lesson to give to children about overcoming personal physical discomfort in order to take care of those truly suffering around you.

Throughout the book, Kitten Ninja is, ofc, aided by his lovely elderly owner. It’s a nice bit of representation, especially since to my eye she looks Asian, short and plump (like meeee!)

The prose is perfect for read-alongs, with plenty of gentle humor to go with the kinetic action. Ellen Stubbings does an amazing job of portraying Kitten Ninja as both a feisty superhero and a rolling ball of adorableness. As the book itself says

Of course, you can be adorable and a fierce warrior.

And I think that’s a valuable lesson for little kids to learn, that it’s okay to be lots of things. You don’t have to be stern and harsh to be strong. You can be cute and brave, and sweet and smart, and no one gets to put you into a box. In fact, if you’re a cat, you get to choose which boxes you want, when and as you please. Hmm, maybe that should be the subject for a future Kitten Ninja book. This Kitten Ninja book, however, is the perfect introductory graphic novel for youngsters who are able to read on their own and love cats and/or superheroes. Recommended.

Kitten Ninja by Colleen A.F. Venable, Marcie Colleen & Ellen Stubbings was published February 27 2024 by Andrews McMeel Publishing and is available from all good booksellers, including

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  1. A leap book!

    Or is it a pounce book?

    1. Porque no los dos? 😀

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