On Honshu, the largest island in Japan, is a city called Tokyo. Three hundred years ago, Tokyo was called Edo. The streets were dark and dusty. The houses were made of paper.
It was a city of mystery and magic.
It was midnight. Somewhere in the darkness a pig snuffled. Nearby an old man picked his nose. But nobody noticed. There were not lightbulbs in Edo Period Japan.
A thief, dressed in black, raced through the city streets.
The Great Bear has been stolen from Edo Castle and the shogun has promised a wonderful reward for the return of his most prized possession. Whoever brings back the Bear will become ruler of the Hidden Valley. Kingyo-Sama, head of the samurai, and Buta-Sama, head of the ninja have woken to a normal day which includes flying ninja poo and other treats. But before their battle can escalate, both are called to Edo Castle to participate in the quest to find the Great Bear. How hard can it be? The brothers are both sure of victory and equally sure that victory will allow them to finally outwit and oust the other. There are black and white illustrations on every opening and text sometimes wanders around, up and down the page.
The Race for the Shogun’s Treasure is the second adventure in this silly and ridiculous new series from Random House. Kingyo-Sama and Buta-Sama are very different characters. And they are brothers. Their rivalry is as fierce as it is relentless. And it’s hilarious. The insults are inventive, the action fast-paced and outrageous. Newly independent readers will revel in the silliness.
Samurai vs Ninja 2: The Race for the Shogun’s Treasure , Nick Falk & Tony Flowers
Random House Australia 2015
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller