cover image 10 Little Ninjas

10 Little Ninjas

Miranda Paul, illus. by Nate Wragg. Knopf, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-553-53497-9

In Paul’s (Water Is Water) boisterous story set to the tune of “Ten Little Monkeys,” 10 ethnically diverse children avoid bedtime by adopting new personas, including ninjas, “prowling tigers,” and “rowdy cowboys.” Replacing the “doctor” in the original rhyme is the children’s mother, who also changes roles for each scenario: “Daddy called the lifeguard/ and the lifeguard yapped,/ ‘No more reef sharks/ swimming lazy laps!’ ” Eventually, there are “No little ninjas sneaking out of bed./ None jumped off and bumped their heads.” Wragg (Elwood Bigfoot) captures the push and pull of bedtime rituals in his energetic digitally assembled cartoons. Ages 2–5. Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Aug.)