Kitten Ninja

Andrews McMeel. Feb. 2024. 80p. Tr $11.99. ISBN 9781524888190.
Gr 1-3–Cat behavior is an endless source of entertainment and adorableness, and it’s on full display in Kitten Ninja. Composed of three sections, this graphic novel follows the adventures of Kitten Ninja, a gray tabby, as he chases sunbeams, wrangles a giant ball of yarn, and looks after a bird friend outside his window. Although he is dressed in a black ninja costume throughout the book, it is made clear that his behavior is more cat-like than ninja-like—though perhaps there is more overlap between the two than previously thought. The bright and colorful illustrations can be a bit flat, but do a good job of conveying Kitten Ninja’s cuteness, expressions, and behaviors, making it easy for cat lovers to recognize their own beloved felines in the character. The third story, “Kitten Ninja Versus the Snow,” somewhat soft-pedals the relationship between domestic cats and songbirds, painting them as friends rather than predator-prey—which shouldn’t be strange in a fictional book—but given the accuracy of the depictions of cat behavior to that point, it feels jarring.
VERDICT A cute but secondary purchase wherever cat books or graphic novels are popular.

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