#758 – Ninja Baby by David Zeltser & Diane Goode

Ninja Baby cover
Ninja Baby

Written by David Zeltser
Illustrated by Diane Goode
.                  .          .Chronicle Books   11/01/2015top-book-of-2015-general
.                        . 978-1-4521-3542-7
.                        . 32 pages      Age 4—8

“From the day she was born, Nina was a ninja baby. She obliterated her applesauce. She concealed herself at bath time. And she was training herself in advanced infiltration of movie night. Nina wants to do everything by herself, until . . . her parents bring home a Kung Fu Master (a baby brother). Now Nina will face the one thing she cannot do alone: be part of a family. With verve and humor, David Zeltser and Diane Goode tell the story of an unusually gifted child, and the family that is more than a match for her.” [inside jacket]

Ninja Baby moves along on pure adorableness. Nina enters the world in dramatic fashion. Trying to get her to take a first breathe, her doctor pats her bottom . . . and then tumbles backward thanks to Nina’s karate chop. Nina loves to do things by herself. She high kicks her way through life, balances like a true ninja, and never gives the idea of family much thought, until . . . her parents arrive home with a baby boy—a Kung Fu Master. This Kung Fu Master knows how to get attention and doesn’t do a thing for himself. Nina now wants her parents’ attention.

Ninja Baby_Int 2

Goode’s pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations deftly show Nina’s ninja movements and facial expressions, using sly humor and making great use of white space. Zeltser’s witty story contains perfect timing and a fun twist at the end. Sibling-rivalry has never had so much heart as in Ninja Baby.


I love the dichotomy between the siblings. One—Ninja Baby—trained in combat and espionage. The other—Kung Fu Master—trained in suppressing attackers. The Kung Fu Master, using his smile and adorable gurgling effervescence, effectively suppresses his Ninja sister. The two join forces, learning from the other. They make an adorable team and are probably more than a handful for their parents, who do not stand a chance. Or do they?

Ninja Baby_Int 1

Ninja Baby is perfect for new parents and parents-to-be with other small children. Okay, Ninja Baby is perfect for any parent, perfect for storytime, and perfect for bedtime. Young children will love the humor and the wonderful illustrations. Ninja Baby is smart storytelling. The illustrations enhance the story three-fold: detailed expressions, martial art positioning, and the aforementioned smart use of white space. Ninja Baby will disarm those who read this interesting and intelligent picture book.

NINJA BABY. Text copyright © 2014 by David Zeltser. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Diane Goode. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Purchase Ninja Baby at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksChronicle Books.

Learn more about Ninja Baby HERE.

Meet the author, David Zeltser, at his website:  http://www.davidzeltser.com/
Blog     Facebook     Twitter   @davidzeltser
Meet the illustrator, Diane Goode, at her website:  http://www.dianegoode.com/
Blog     Facebook     Twitter   @dianegoodebooks
Find more books at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

Also Written by David Zeltser
Lug II (2016)

Also Illustrated by Diane Goode
Maxine’s Other Mother by Cynthia Surrisi (2017)
Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts (2017)
Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies by Cokie Roberts
Outside the Box: A Book of Poems by Karma Wilson
.          . —and many more


Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Ninja Baby by David Zeltser & Diane Goode, and received from Chronicle Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

NINJA BABY by David Zeltser. Illustrations © 2015 by Diane Goode. Used by permission of Chronicle Books.


8 thoughts on “#758 – Ninja Baby by David Zeltser & Diane Goode

  1. Love this book’s premise. Can’t get enough of the power of ninjas. It seems to be a popular trend. Another great 6 star review, Sue!


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