Nighttime Ninja

Written by: Barbara DaCosta

Illustrated by: Ed Young

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Get ready to sneak through the house with the Nighttime Ninja. Before you get started with the story, ask your child questions like:

What do you notice on the front cover?

What do ninjas do?

What do you think a "nighttime ninja" is?

What do you think will happen in this story?


Picture Book Walk

Go through the book and ask your child about the illustrations. Ask why (s)he likes them and what is interesting or surprising about them. Encourage your child to make predictions about the story before starting to read. Also, take time to notice the unique collage illustrations in Nighttime Ninja and discuss how they look different or similar to other books your child has encountered.

As You Read

Get Excited!

This story has very few words, so it gives adult readers a wonderful  opportunity to add more drama to each reading. The story of this little boy on a “mission” to get ice cream can be quite suspenseful if told with a touch of anticipation in your own voice!


Vocabulary Development

Encourage your child to stop when (s)he gets to a new word in the story. Encourage your child to discover its meaning by using the illustrations and the words surrounding it. Examples of new words from Nighttime Ninja include:



Make Connections 

Ask your child, “Do parts of this story remind you of something in our life or something from another book that you have read?” For example: “Do you ever sneak out of bed or get up at night? What happens if you do?”

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

To ensure comprehension, ask your child about what happened in the book. Who/what were the characters and places in book? What happened in the story? For older children, ask questions like the following after finishing to further explore your child’s understanding of the book.

What was your favorite part of Nighttime Ninja? Why?

What was the nighttime ninja’s mission?

If you had a mission late at night, what would it be?

Activity: Recreate Your Favorite Illustration

Supplies: cardboard, cloth, construction paper, magazines and scissors


For a fun art project have your child try to imitate his/her favorite page or recreate it with collage materials. Use supplies like construction paper, magazines, and cloth on cardboard to imitate the unique style of Nighttime Ninja.


Help your child to make up his/her own story about the main character, create a sequel to the story, or make up his/her own new ending. Ask questions like “What is the ninja’s next mission? What would have happened if the ninja weren’t caught?” Be sure to write down the new storyline and you can encourage your child to illustrate the new ideas with collage materials as well.