Book Review: Even Ninjas have Nightmares by J.C. Rouses

Even Ninjas have Nightmares is a picturebook by J.C. Rouses.When a young ninja is confronted by a monster that hides under his bed, the boy must battle his own fears in order to understand that even the strongest people can get scared sometimes. He denies his fears, and wakes the house in his fierce denial even as he wakes up with nightmares and scares. Finally our ninja admits those fears and realizes that not only is he not alone, but he can still be a brave ninja even if he has nightmares.
Even Ninjas have Nightmares is a picturebook that takes the common fears, and attempted denial of them, and shows young readers that it is okay to be afraid. It is the admission of fear and facing them, and helping others face their fears, that makes you brave. I love the illustrations and the repeated awakens of the young ninja. The artwork is a perfect pairing to the story and offer extra bits of humor and details to the larger story. I think my favorite part was the end when the ninja comforts and helps his little sister face her own fears and nightmares. I think that added a special value to the lesson and might help young readers with understanding and empathy if they do not have nightmare problems of their own.

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