Book Review - Nina the Neighbourhood Ninja.

10 May Ayesha Farhad 28 Comments


As a mother who was obsessed with books at one point in my life, I really really want to instill the same habits in my son. So, I am always on the lookout for books that can help build my sons vocabulary and open his mind. I love books that can broaden your thinking frame and help you become more accepting of situations. Because coming from a South Asian background, you are limited to very few resources in the family that help you become more aware of the current circumstances. 

When you pick up a book for your son specifically, you often tend to choose books that have male characters as super heroes. I don’t want my son assuming that only men can be super heroes who can save the day, rescuing people in their time of need.
When I got this book, I knew I had to read this to my son! He loves everything super heroes and this will definitely be something new to him.

The book is written by Sonia Panigrahy, who grew up learning about Hindu mythology and sadly couldn’t relate to any of the superheroes.
She says ‘while browsing through the colorful spines of children’s bookstores, I found that the books on the shelves were perpetuating social inequality. I continually noticed that it was much easier to find empowering books for boys than for girls. There were plenty of adventurous male characters to choose from, but when I searched for similar stories for young girls, I found the selection dismal. It was heart-breaking knowing how empowering books can be for children, but realizing for girls, many books were doing just the opposite’.

Coming to the book review, the story is about a girl named Nina, who comes from an ethnic background and has a firefly, Fiona, as her side kick. They are spending a regular day playing in the playground when they have to face a few rescue missions one by one. She is an intelligent girl and with her speed and clever thinking, she is able to save the animals from the tricky situations. And at the end of the day, after she unwinds from her days work, all the animals come down to thank her for all the help.



The book is also interactive at the end where it asks you if you would like a super power and which one. My son conveniently chose a super muscle power. The book shows girls as strong, smart and speedy.
Nina’s ethnicity as been depicted in such a way that you can relate to it even if you’re a Latina/Hispanic, Black or from a South Asian background. You can easily relate to it with flexibility in interpretation. It gives a break to all the fairies and princess trying to find their prince charming and it moves on to strong and independent girls who know how to handle a predicament.

After reading the book, Azlan immediately wanted to rush to the playground ‘on a rescue mission like Nina and save the animals calling out for help’.

I think this book is absolutely well written for ages 4 and above, perfectly aimed for both, boys and girls. It empowers the girls and brings in more acceptance for the boys. Definitely recommending this book to friends and family.

You can purchase the book here: http://amzn.to/2r1dRIn


28 comments:

  1. Looks like a super cute book. I'm got to try to find it for my niece.

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  2. Love to have one for my nephew . Great post

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  3. I have a little brother who loves to read and so I will definitely give this book a read. Thanks for the review, this book definitely has an important message that should be shared with kids (:

    Ashlee | ashleemoyo.com

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  4. This sounds like an interesting book with a good storyline too

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  5. Brilliant idea for a book and well portrayed. I think it's important to get kids to read a variety of books, male and female protagonists. I love your son's name as well masha Allah

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  6. I think my daughter would live this, but we may have to wait until she stops trying to eat her books

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  7. This sounds like such a cute book. The idea of a female superhero who appeals to children of any gender is fabulous!

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  8. This sounds like a really cool children's book thanks for writing a review of the book

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  9. Oh my goodness what an amazing sounding book and how awesome are the drawings used in it! So colourful.

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  10. This sounds like a super cute book the Illustrations look awseome. I like the concept of the book as i feel its important for children to know that both genders can enjoy being a super hero's and not just boys.

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  11. You're such a great mom. Yes to girl superheroes too! If you simply make it part of their vocabulary when they're little .. they'll never even think it's a thing. Of course .. girls can be awesome too!

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  12. That's so good to see not only a strong female character but a female lead in general in a kids book x

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  13. This looks like a great book for children :) x

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  14. I'd this book for my son! THANKS FOR THE REVIEW!

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  15. Love the illustrations in this book, and love that the ninja is a girl! x

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  16. Beautiful illustrations. This look like a great books for kids. Thank you for the review and I shall look out for this. xx

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  17. This book seems wonderful, a great story and illustrations for boys and girls :)

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  18. This looks interesting...think the girls would like it, looks good

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  19. I love the sound of the main female character, I might need to get this book for my nephew! :)

    Dani x

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  20. what a sweet looking book, I love the illustrations in it.

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  21. Looks awesome, the colors are bright and the idea is great. I am so against stereotyping women as someone who are in (constant) need to be saved :/
    I like Enchanted the most - she (kind of) rescued him. And oh Mulan! my Favorite (super) hero :)

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  22. What a great book I have never heard of this before. I think I will look to get this for my little boy 😊

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  23. What a wonderful story and nice illustration for kids!.I love this book.Its so interesting.

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  24. This seems like such an adorable book! I'm glad to see there are more options for people of color when it comes to finding superheroes that look like them. That was something I didn't have much of when I was a kid.

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  25. This is such a nice theme. Very rarely do we see books with the female at super hero protagonist.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  26. This sounds so good for kids! I love how it is empowering for both boys and girls :)

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  27. We embrace multi-culturalism in my household and this book seems like one my 5 yr olds would love. They are all about girl power as well so that's even more perfect!

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  28. I love the idea of this story - I'm definitely in favour of girls being superheroes too. On behalf of mothers of daughters, I thank you for educating your son too. You have also made me think about whether enough of our children's books feature multi-culturism too.

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