Back a few reviews I mentioned rhyming ninjas, and here we are finally speaking of rhyming ninjas (I thought I would try and be cute and do a rhyme but trying to rhyme ninja on the fly was not happening). Here we have a cozy, early reader by Luke Flowers and his series Moby Shinobi and Toby, Too. The first addition to the series is Surf’s Up. It is part of the Acorn Book series that helps with reading on variety of levels. Mostly, they base the criteria on how many pages as well as the context and content.
The story rhymes. Not just Moby when he speaks to the audience (reader and people around him), but every line wraps up into a flowing rhyme. The story is to teach the reader to always do their best, learn from their mistakes and keep trying. These adventures, while each tucked neatly into their own chapter are separate, they have a common theme. This one is the beach. We see Moby surfing, sand castle building, saving a fisherman and more.
To complete the story, the bright and fun backed illustrations have some normal images (people walking, fishing) and some more clever pieces of humor (there is a poor ice cream cone and girl meeting in a not so fun manner). And there is Toby. He is Moby’s friendly dog. He has a human intelligence, but never speaks.
While this is not overly sugary sweet, it is a sweet story. The fun part is while Moby and Toby are male, girls can read, too. It is positive in tone, subject and artwork.