Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nighttime Ninja” as Want to Read:
Nighttime Ninja
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nighttime Ninja

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,233 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?
With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Little, Brown (first published September 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nighttime Ninja, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Nighttime Ninja

Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen SchwartzThe Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen SchwartzNinja, Ninja, Never Stop! by Todd TuellThe Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex LatimerNinja! by Arree Chung
Picture Books with NINJAS!
5th out of 17 books — 18 voters
Wabi Sabi by Mark ReibsteinLon Po Po by Ed YoungThe Masterwork of a Painting Elephant by Michelle CuevasSeven Blind Mice by Ed YoungRed Thread by Ed Young
Best of Ed Young
79th out of 79 books — 7 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,858)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Miss Ryoko
Feb 21, 2014 Miss Ryoko rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Actual rating: 2.5

Barbara DaCosta lives near me so I really want to give her a shining review, however the book didn't meet my expectations. I can't really say what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. However, I can totally relate to the nighttime ninja... when I was little my mom says I used to wake up in the middle of the night and eat all the cheese in the fridge! Haha!

The book is alright. The illustrations are creative and different and the story is cute. My expectations were just a little
Feb 04, 2013 Amy rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-book, cln
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2016 Meghan rated it liked it
Cute, and VERY short. Will probably use for pajama storytime, especially since it ties into bedtime and sleep. It will make a good last story of the night.
M.M. Hudson
Apr 16, 2016 M.M. Hudson rated it liked it
NOTE: I gave this a 3 on Amazon which denotes the book being just ok. Goodreads would give it a 2. So please note any discrepancy.
The title of this book caught my attention which is why I purchased it without really looking through it. I usually at least do a quick flip. If I had done so, I would have known this is essentially a picture book with very few words. The book is targeted for kids 4-7 but in truth, I think it is more 2-5 and only that high in age because an emerging reader cou
Kalee Stegehuis
May 31, 2014 Kalee Stegehuis rated it it was amazing
This review first published at

I LOVED this book! I can be a critical reader, but this one had me completely engaged. I spent a few minutes on each page because I thoroughly enjoyed the illustrations and the suspense of the story. It doesn’t contain many words, but it’s still a book you can spend a while reading to kids because the illustration is so mystifying.

My favorite aspect of this book is the relationship between the visual and verbal narratives. Th
Dec 04, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: preschool, night, ninjas
Cute papercut illustrations -- very minimal text (would be a short one for story time, there's a lot of wordless pages), but would be a cute short book for a story time interlude. I'm glad there's more ninja books being published -- I have some small patrons who have read EVERY ninja picture book a thousand times, so it's good to see a new one.
Jessica Gilligan
Oct 02, 2014 Jessica Gilligan rated it it was ok
Shelves: libs-642
DaCosta; Young. (2012). Nighttime Ninja. Little, Brown and Company: New York.

Picture Book: Choice

2013 ALA Notable Children's Book; Reviewed in Publisher's Weekly

This book is about a little boy who pretends he is a ninja and is stealthily moving about the house after bedtime in search of the prize-ice cream. The artwork is a rich tapestry using cut paper, textured cloth, string and color pencil as the media. The text is really simple, with only a sentence or sentence fragment per page. I think it
Feb 14, 2016 Jackie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed reading this book and discussing the topic of waking up at night with other readers. It resonates with me when the mom tells the child to refocus onto a 'get-into-bed-mission'. I was drawn into the story instantly on the first page showing a masked face in the dark. My transaction with the text was most powerful when it was written the lights flashed on suddenly. I will carry with me from this experience a better understanding of what it is like for other moms to find their children ou ...more
Kianna Buckner
Nov 19, 2014 Kianna Buckner rated it it was amazing
"Nighttime Ninja" was a great book. A little boy is dressed as a ninja and he is on a mission around the house. He is suppose to be sleep. He get caught when his mom finds him around the house and tells him to go back to sleep.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I like how the author used very few words. I think young boys in the grades of kindergarten-3rd will really enjoy this because a lot of boys that age are really into ninjas. They will connect with the little boy in the story.

The illustr
Apr 02, 2014 Autumn rated it liked it
K picked this book up at his school library.
So I read this at bedtime and I thought okay Nighttime ninja what could it be about. But I was kind of disappointed. When we start out you are seeing a ninja what looks like to be climbing a wall, but at the end you realize the ninja is a boy who was going after something he wanted when everyone was a sleep. So I was a bit like umm okay? I think it would have been better if we saw him sneak out of his room, roll past his parent's bedroom door, creep d
Sep 11, 2013 UISG LIBRARY rated it it was amazing
This Panda Award Nominee didn't disappoint yesterday with P2s or today with PYellow. It was suspenseful all the way through!
Jun 13, 2013 Betsy rated it really liked it
Nearly wordless, this is a fun read aloud. The illustrations are marvelous and tell most of the story.
Ashley Sampson
Apr 07, 2015 Ashley Sampson rated it really liked it
Nighttime Ninja is a great picture book for children ages 3-10 years old. It features very little text and pages of illustrations that will capture the readers attention. What child doesn't like to pretend they are a ninja at some point? This cute little book gets into a child's mind and allows them to use their imagination to enter a different world before bed. What could be better than that? The book offers illustrations that are both colorful and those that are lacking in a lot of color. It i ...more
Sep 04, 2014 Aubry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
DaCosta, Barbara (2012). Nighttime Ninja. New York: Little Brown and Company.

K-2nd Grade Book of the Year at the Children's Choice Book Awards

Choice Book

I highly enjoyed this book. The artwork, made from cut paper, textured cloth, string and colored pencils; make this book not only enjoyable but and exceptional choice. The Nighttime Ninja comes out after midnight when everyone else in the house is sleeping. He is on a mission. A mission for what? Who is this Ninja? I'm not going to spoil this on
Sassy School Counselor
I adore this book. It's sneaky and fun because it's a great mystery. I love that you can guess and come up with tons of ideas of what the nighttime ninja is doing. My plan is to use this as an icebreaker this year. After I introduce the book we will brainstorm/chart our guesses as to the nighttime ninja's mission. After reading it we can re-read and see if there were any clues we missed. Then students will create their own nighttime ninja doing something they did over the summer. We will then gu ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Jess rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kiddos
Suspense for the picture book crowd. If your kid likes it, this is the sort of book you read on repeat.

In her author's note, Barbara DaCosta admits to being a nighttime ninja herself. Too bad the one here isn't a girl. I mean really.

Reminded me of Seven Blind Mice which of course it should because it's illustrated by Ed Young. Way to read all the title page info, Jess. :)
Aug 06, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it
What is a ninja anyway? The dictionary states: (Japanese) a member of the ninja who were trained in martial arts and hired for espionage, sabotage or assassinations; a person skilled in Ninjutsu. (They sound scary to me. Don't mess with them.)

This book is a children's adventure/thriller with a great surprise ending! A ninja goes on a very suspenseful mission...lights one awake....all quiet...into his kitchen!

The book is full of wonderful verbs and gentle, quiet action words that perfect
Amy Forrester
Dec 04, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
In the dark of the night the ninja creeps and climbs, crawls and leaps through the house. Everyone is asleep as he slips from shadow to shadow. As he takes up his tools to work, the lights flash on and his mother appears! Even though the ninja protests that he hasn’t finished his (ice cream eating) mission, his mother has another idea, “Well, how about a getting-back-into-bed mission?”

The sparse text has a suspenseful feeling and readers will think they are reading a story about a real ninja rig
Kathryn (Nine Pages)
The text itself is sparse and is somewhat eclipsed. The mixed-media illustrations in this book are true stars, quickly capturing the attention with a thrilling adventure. Perhaps the merest bit too cluttered, they illustrate the protagonist as a sleek ninja all in black, who scales walls with grappling hooks and creeps into compounds. The story seems to pick up mid-adventure, an unusual and refreshing beginning to a picture book, where the concept of "once upon a time" seems to more firmly hold ...more
Luke Magsino
Sep 13, 2016 Luke Magsino rated it really liked it
Nighttime Ninja by Babara DaCosta Art by Ed Young is about a ninja who went on a mission in the middle of the night. The book is about a kid who got outside and started his mission and perform like a ninja. He had a mission to do. He went inside a house. I like the book because it had a lot of parts that is scaring because you think he will get caught. I recommend it to people who like mysterious book because it is a book that has a different mysterious story from other stories.
Round Lake Area Library Youth Services Department
The ninja creeps in the night through the quiet house in search of something… but what could it be? However the ninja isn’t as quiet as he thinks and gets caught red handed by his mother.

This is a quick story with a very interesting style of illustrations that kids will enjoy. The style creates an entirely different feel for the story. Overall children 3-7 will enjoy this story of silence in the night.
Annette Ruane
Dec 03, 2013 Annette Ruane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I like the lay out of this book, the style of this book, and the illustrations of this book better then I like the actual story of this book. The cover of this book is intriguing with just the ninja eyes poking out of the dark. I liked how I had to turn the book vertical a few times to read it and see the full picture, I think this is engaging to the reader and allows them to not get bored while reading. I loved how the texture of the pages switched back and forth between glossy and matt. I beli ...more
Miss Kate Reads
This is a sweet book about imagination and adventure. The illustrations were actually made from cut paper and objects giving the book a very textured appearance and "feel" (the book does have two different textures on the cover). Overall this book was very charming but it also left me feeling like I wished it was just a little bit longer as though it wasn't quite finished - not that the ending was incomplete or unsatisfying; the book just didn't feel like it was quite long enough and felt like i ...more
Mar 23, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
My five-year-old son picked this book out from the library last week.

This book is adorable. And relatable. My son knows all about nighttime stealth skills. Only when I ask him what he has or is doing, he doesn't respond with "nothing"; he says, "You don't want to know."

The illustrations were perfect. The added just the right amount of mystery and atmosphere.
This book would have been a five if it was longer. It's art work of textured paper and collage paper was really interestin. The patterns were unique and foreign and I appreiciated that. Pick this one up and take sixty seconds to read it in your library. The story is a bit simple, but the art work and use of phography really merited a Four-Star.


Daniel Mendez
Oct 25, 2015 Daniel Mendez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
I really enjoyed this book! Its a quick read but builds suspense. The illustrations and text tell a story of a ninja sneaking into a house. The illustrations are very interesting being cut paper and different textures. The ninja gets caught and you find out the ninja is a young boy wanting to get ice-cream or some sort of dessert. The book is set in an Asian household, clues of the mother's clothing, looks like a Japanese Kimono. A story of a boy on an adventure that happens to be (possibly) Jap ...more
Becky B
A ninja is sneaking into a house on a secret mission (view spoiler)...only to be interrupted by his mother and set on a new mission (view spoiler).

I did not see the ending for this one coming. It starts off all serious and ninja-y, and then...well, you just have to read it. It was quite funny, and something all kids will identify with at least being tempted to try. A great book to use when talking about making pr
Apr 12, 2014 Laura rated it liked it
I like the concept of the illustrations. I saw the Scholastic video with the illustrator, and the students and I found it interesting.
However, the book didn't measure up to our interest. There could have been a few more hints along the way. The kids had no clue what was going on at first....and neither did I.
Dec 02, 2014 Angie rated it it was ok
Synopsis: "Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?
With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination."

My Review: A cute story about stealing through the house in the middle of the night with a special goal in mind. I didn't really l
Marissa Reyes
The text Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta had a childlike storyline in which children can relate closely with because every child has had the experience of sneaking through the dark corridors of ones home without stirring their sleeping parents in order to get away with a late night snack. This book caught my attention because of the illustration on the cover, however, as I began to flip through the text the illustrations were a disappointment and did not do the story justice. I am not impress ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 61 62 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Vote for Nighttime Ninja! 1 3 Apr 17, 2013 06:56PM  
Introducing Nighttime NInja 2 4 Dec 24, 2012 04:31AM  
  • hello! hello!
  • Oh, No!
  • More
  • A Home for Bird
  • Infinity and Me
  • Red Knit Cap Girl
  • Chloe and the Lion
  • Boot & Shoe
  • Black Dog
  • Step Gently Out
  • One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters
  • Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington
  • Homer
  • Sleep Like a Tiger
  • Green
  • Baby Bear Sees Blue
  • Penguin and Pinecone
  • I'm Bored
From lighthearted children's books to adult mysteries, Barbara DaCosta enjoys looking at the odd, quirky things in life. DaCosta's debut children's picture book is Nighttime Ninja, illustrated by Caldecott Award-winner Ed Young (Little, Brown 2012). DaCosta's short stories for grownups have been featured in such places as Resort to Murder and Why Did Santa Leave a Body?
More about Barbara DaCosta...

Share This Book