Reviews /

Two and a Half Wishes – Fairytale Ninjas Book

Authored by Paula Harrison
Illustrated by Mónica de Rivas
Published by HarperCollins Publishers

Fairytale Ninjas must be a very tempting title of a series of books for young readers. Fairytales usually appeal to all children but Ninjas!? The Ninja Turtles (with their wonderful Renaissance names) were introduced decades ago but stories about Ninjas seem to have continued to engage youngsters. For example, there are books available now with such titles as, The Three Ninja Pigs, Little Ninjas and Ninja Camp.

The leading characters in Two and a Half Wishes are three girls, Goldie, Red and Snow who attend the Glass Slipper Academy of Dance. One day they discover swords, shields and ‘other equipment’ hidden in the dance studio. They persuade their teacher, Madame Hart, to train them in sword-play so that they can defeat ‘the wickedest baddies in the kingdom’.

There is a stage in literacy learning when series such as Fairytale Ninjas can be invaluable for newly independent readers (typically around 6-8 years old). It occurs when children are first able to tackle books on their own – without adult support. It is, possibly, the most vulnerable time when learning to read, but it is a vital one as this is the first step in the change from being a learner of decoding skills to becoming a reader. What matters is that children read with ease and enjoyment and each reader ends up feeling a strong sense of achievement. Two and a Half Wishes is a perfect  and highly early chapter book for children at this stage.