Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas

by Rubin Pingk (Author) Rubin Pingk (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Samurai Holiday

A young ninja wants a snowball fight for Christmas, and he just might get his holiday wish in this picture book with graphic novel-inspired illustrations that celebrate the spirit of giving, Samurai style.

It's snowing on Christmas Eve! Yukio loves snowball fights, but none of the other ninjas will play with him for fear of landing on Santa's naughty list. Can Yukio chase Santa away from Ninja Village, or will a Samurai Santa thwart Yukio's plan? An epic snowball fight later, one thing's for sure: this is going to be Yukio's best Christmas ever.

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Kirkus Reviews

[This] Christmas story will appeal to kids interested in ninjas and samurais and, of course, to any kids who like an epic snowball fight.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Yukio is a dutiful ninja, but all he wants for Christmas is an "epic" snowball fight with his brethren. (They refuse, not wanting to end up on Santa's "naughty" list.) Determined "to run Santa out of Ninja Village," Yukio sounds the alarm when Santa arrives; the young ninjas successfully chase off the "intruder," who is soon replaced by a mysterious samurai with a snowman army--giving Yukio his snowball fight after all. A muted red-and-blue palette, exuberantly playful typography, and some Crouching Tiger-worthy action sequences ("Ninjas and snowmen clashed!!!" writes Pingk as the opposing forces fly toward each other across a snowy field) combine to create a frenzied, fun, and nontraditional Christmas tale. It's an impressively disciplined debut for Pingk and, just as important, a blast to read. Ages 4-8. Agent: Carrie Hannigan, Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency. (Sept.)

Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2--When little ninja Yukio is denied an epic snowball fight on Christmas Eve because all the other little ninjas are on their best behavior in anticipation of Santa's arrival, he decides Santa must be chased away from Ninja Village. Yukio carefully plans his ambush and tricks the other ninjas into helping him run off the mysterious stranger in red, who then reappears as a samurai leading an army of snowball-wielding snowmen. An epic battle ensues. However, at the end, Yukio realizes he may have ruined Christmas for his ninja friends with his trick...but no, the snow battle turns out to have been Samurai Santa's holiday gift to Yukio all along. Digitally rendered illustrations give a flavor of more formal Japanese art mixed in with Sunday comics, which mashes up nicely with the Saturday matinee-tinged text that just begs to be performed in a reader's most dramatic voice. VERDICT A super fun holiday read-aloud that should delight little ninjas everywhere.--Mara Alpert Los Angeles Public Library

Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 22, 2015
Samurai Holiday
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV039090 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | New Experience
JUV017010 - Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Christmas & Advent
Library of Congress categories
Santa Claus

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