Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas

Pingk, Rubin (Author/Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2015. 40 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781481430579 (hardcover)
9781481430586 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

All Yukio wants is an epic snowball fight, but the other ninjas in his village are reluctant, for fear they may end up on Santa’s naughty list. They want their presents. Yukio sabotages Santa by banging the gong while he’s delivering presents, which warns the other ninjas that there is an intruder. Thus follows an epic snowball fight, the ninjas against Santa and his team of snowmen.

The language is simple and easy-to-understand, and the story moves at a quick action-driven pace. “Sleepy ninjas chased the bright intruder. The prowler got away. The ninjas looked and looked. They could not find him anywhere.”

The illustrations are also simple, the style a mix between manga and cartoon. The palette is grey and black with the occasional blotch of red. The forms are repetitive, with identical ninjas, snowmen and houses. Of particular interest are the drawings of the snowball fight, which lasts several pages and occupies the full two-page spread. In these images, ninjas swing from trees and launch snowballs that sail across the scene.

It’s only after the epic fight that Yukio realizes that it’s his fault no one will receive any presents. But when he returns home, there is a letter from Santa: “Dear Yukio, I hope you enjoyed the epic snowball fight. I made it just for you.”

  •  

    Explore the cover and endpapers to make predictions about the story.

  •  While reading, discuss how the illustrations, fonts and layout contribute to your understanding and enjoyment of the story.
  •  

    Discuss the choices Yukio made and how they affected other characters. What would you have done in his place?

  •  

    Consider how Yukio’s gift was different from more traditional presents wrapped up under the tree. What gifts are most meaningful to you? Write about a wonderful present you have received, or would like to receive, in your reader-writer’s notebook.

  •  

    Create a new, illustrated holiday story for young readers in the form of a slide show. Present it to a class of younger students in your school.

  •  Explore the book cover to make predictions about the story.
  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Describe the story as it is told by the pictures. Discuss the illustrations, the fonts, the layout. How do these help you to understand the story?

  •  

    With a partner, create a mind map of the story. Discuss how this story is similar to or different from other Christmas stories you know.

  •  Discuss the present that Yukio received. How is it special? What would you appreciate in the same style?
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Physical Education and Health