Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Boy Who Cried Ninja

The Boy Who Cried Ninja

By Alex Latimer

32 pages – ages 5+

Published by Peachtree Publishers on April 1, 2011

Theme/Topic – Telling the truth / problem solving

Opening and Synopsis – “Once there was a boy named Tim who no one believed.When his mom asked him what happened to the last slice of cake, he told her the truth. “It was a ninja,” cried Tim.”

In this creative re-telling of the tale “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Tim is really telling the truth. There REALLY IS a cake stealing ninja, a book bag eating octopus and a parachuting, sunburnt crocodile that eats T.V. antennas! Tim figures since telling the truth is getting him in trouble, he may as well lie about it and take the blame for everything but he only gets in trouble again. Tim makes a plan to invite the REAL trouble makers to a party and show his parents that he was telling the truth all along. His parents realize their mistake and promise to get Tim 100 ice cream cones and they punish the ninja, octopus, crocodile, pirate, time traveling monkey and the astronaut by making them rake the whole yard up!

Why I liked this book – The story is a really different and very funny version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”! I thought it was very unique. Mr. Latimer also illustrated the book and the illustrations are great! This is actually a good lesson for a book because I know that sometimes when I am telling the truth, my parents don’t believe me (especially when it involves fighting with my little sister). I like how Tim solves his problem without telling lies.

Activities and Resources – You can visit Mr. Latimer’s website HERE. I think parents can use the book to talk to their kids about telling the truth and how if you tell the truth even when you do something bad, it is the right thing to do. There is a version of Aesop’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” HERE. There is a really cool Muppet Version of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” below 🙂


To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

39 replies

  1. NINJAS! MUPPETS! CAKE! This review has it all! Seriously, this book sounds hysterical, and that one illustration I see is a hoot. I just put it on my Amazon wish list…and now I know who to blame when my cupcakes disappear in the middle of the night….Great review, Erik!

  2. This title gets me! Funny! My boys are screaming ninja all the time. Not quite like this though.

  3. I read this book at a bookstore almost a year ago. The title grabbed me right away. I love the whole concept of not being believed when you’re telling the truth – haven’t we all faced that?! 🙂 This is a very fun book. Thanks for adding it to the list 🙂

  4. Ninjas are awesome. Not to mention time traveling monkeys!

  5. This book sounds awesome! I’m going to have to get it from the library, as my kids love fractured fairy tales. One of our favorite spins on this story is The Wolf Who Cried Boy. This one sounds like it might be even funnier, if that’s possible…

    • I didn’t know what “Fractured Fairy Tales” were. I asked my mom, she said she LOVES them! I just watched one on Youtube 🙂 They are funny! Thanks for telling me about them! I’ll have to look for “The Wolf Who Cried Boy” one!

  6. Oh, this book sounds and looks perfect for my son! Thanks for sharing. Love the videos 🙂

  7. This book sounds hilarious and one that I KNOW my boys would love! And I’m with Renee–That totally must be what happens to all of our sugary treats when nobody is looking! (Of course, Ninjas are taking them!!!)

    Great pick, Erik! I am now officially on the hunt for this one! 🙂

  8. This looks like a great book, Erik! Thank you for the review and adding it to the PPBF’s list. I love it when an old tale is retold. The illustrations look fun too!

  9. Cool way to retell the familiar story, by standing it on its head and making the truth seem too much for people to believe. Sounds like a book that’s both fun, and has a good message. Thanks, Erik!

  10. Great book choice. I love all the “troublemakers” and that Tim starts by telling the truth rather than ending by learning to tell the truth. Nice choice! BTW- I saw the “Vampire Weenie” book listed above. A ton of kids checked them out of my son’s school library the other day. What’s the deal with the series? Any good for a 2nd grader?

    • I’m glad you liked my PPBF pick! I will post my review of “Attack of the Vampire Weenies” Monday (it was my boys book club book) and I just finished it. It wasn’t my favorite beauce the stories were pretty creepy and I’m not a huge fan of horror stuff but there are some I do like (like Patrick Carman’s 3:15). I think the creepiest thing that happened was a story where ear buds (for like an ipod) go back together when you are wearing them which is very gross and I don’t think my mom would have let me read it in second grade.

  11. Very cool book and review Erik! How many times have we heard that…. “crying wolf” aye!
    Loved the way this is told. The video clip was a good choice! Thanks Erik.

  12. I love funny books, especially for boys. Sounds great! I’ve shelved this but never took the time to read it (contrary to public opinion, booksellers don’t have time to sit around and read).

  13. My grade 1s are going to love this book, Erik. Thanks!

  14. That book sounds awesome and I watched that whole video it was so funny!! I love the Muppets. Thanks Erik!

  15. I like your review and it shows that you can retell a story in a fresh way. Plus, I might blame the ninja for the last piece of missing cake. Oops. That’s not the lesson of the story. We’ll check this one out. Looks like fun illustrations, too.

  16. Time traveling monkey=awesome. I can’t wait to read this book!

  17. It sounds like a cute book! It’s sometimes hard to believe the truth. It looks like a good teaching book about telling the truth.

  18. I love a book that deals with truth-telling because I am always looking for picture books with great messages to use in school program. And one that combines a great message with so much funny stuff is bound to be a hit with the kids.

    Thanks, Erik, for bringing us such a great review…I’ll check out the resources you listed…they might be helpful also. 🙂

    I’m really glad to be onboard Susannah’s PPBF!

  19. What a cool book! The title caught my attention right away. I think my students could really benefit from reading this book, so I will have to order it for our collection. Thank you for sharing it!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: