Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed by J. C. Phillipps

winkCindy: It’s fabulous to have a mandate to expand my reading to include preschool and elementary level after years of reading primarily for middle school. Now, when a review for a book with a title like this one, Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed (Viking, 2009) catches my eye, I feel it’s my responsibility to head to the public library to hunt it down for blog consideration. And what a fun find it was! Wink is attending the Summer Moon School for Young Ninjas but he fails at all activities that involve stealth. Master Zutsu admonishes him again and again with proverbs: “The loudest cricket is the first to be caught.” Wink has trouble containing his enthusiasm, though, and struggles until he finally finds a way to fit in. Perhaps it is my empathy for Wink due to my own outgoing nature, or perhaps it is the gorgeous paper collage art, but I found this book more than lived up to its great title. Use your own stealth to sneak into a public library or bookstore near you to get your hands on this fun tribute to accepting people for who they are.

Lynn: When I have new books to share with our focus group, I often put them casually on the table where we have our after-school snack and let the boys chose what to read first. The day I put Wink on the table, they didn’t even wait for their snack. When a book beats chocolate chip cookies, you know you’ve got high kid appeal! The high-spirited collage illustrations are the real stars here and they practically leap off the page with energy and humor. We had to do a little explaining about ninjas and stealth but this charming book is a much-requested favorite. Sure to please little warriors everywhere.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed by J. C. Phillipps"

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  1.' Jeff Smith says:

    I came across this review online and thought this book has the same fun feel as a book I currently worked on. My book “The boy Who Wouldn’t Sit Still!” Is fun for the same age group and really worth checking out. It is available online from the site or on

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