December 5 – International Ninja Day


About the Holiday

International Ninja Day may have started out as an marketing idea by Ninja Burger in 2003 to celebrate their speedy delivery, but the day has grown to embrace all kinds of Ninja fun. If you love the stealthy cunning of these masters of martial arts warfare, then today’s for you! To celebrate, watch a favorite ninja movie or TV show, show off your nimble ninja moves, or perform an act of kindness while remaining “invisible.” Today’s also a great day to sneak in some ninja reading time with your kids!

Naughty Ninja Takes a Bath

Written by Todd Tarpley | Illustrated by Vin Vogel


Naughty Ninja had been training in the jungle when his rumbling stomach told him it was time to go home. As he stepped in the door, he announced that he needed food. But Naughty Ninja aka Will “was covered with river mud, smelly leaves, and beetle dung. Flies buzzed around him.” His mom and dad told him he needed to take a bath before he had his “ninja nuggets.”


Image copyright Vin Vogel, 2019, text copyright Todd Tarpley. Courtesy of Two Lions.

Will’s dad filled the tub and calmly reminded him not to say “‘Ninja to the rescue’” because whenever he did bad things happened. But Naughty didn’t hear. He was focused on the flies that were now swarming around his dad. He recognized them as “wild, poisonous flies from the jungle.” His dad saw the gleam in his eyes and begged him not to say those dreaded words.

But they were already leaving Naughty Ninja’s mouth, and his foot was already coming up to kick those flies. Unfortunately, he kicked his dad instead. Dad fell backward into the tub of water. Naughty Ninja was sure a fierce alligator had dragged his dad into the tub. Calling out his signature phrase, Naughty Ninja leaped into the air and rescued his dad. Of course, he also caused a tidal wave of water to fill the bathroom. He was sure his dad was okay now, but Dad said he was ‘not better.’ Naughty Ninja thought about this. “It could only mean one thing…invading samurai warriors!” In on smooth move, Naughty Ninja picked up the bubble bath, soared into the air, and poured it into the tub. In a moment, clouds of bubbles filled the room. Naughty Ninja yelled for his dad to run.


Image copyright Vin Vogel, 2019, text copyright Todd Tarpley. Courtesy of Two Lions.

As water and bubbles, bath toys and toothbrushes flowed out of the bathroom, Naughty Ninja bounded across the bathroom and out the door. Ninja Dad gave chase with an armload of towels. But Dad slipped and slid on a towel across the room and back again. “Naughty Ninja thought that looked like fun.” He grabbed a towel and slid loop-de-loops around the floor, walls, and ceiling. By this time even Ninja Dad was having fun.

They came to a halt in front of Mom, who wanted to know what they were doing. “Naughty Ninja and Dad stopped and slowly pointed at each other.” Mom didn’t care who started it or how it had happened. She was just thrilled with how clean the house looked. Dad smiled at Will. It was just another successful Ninja rescue.


Image copyright Vin Vogel, 2019, text copyright Todd Tarpley. Courtesy of Two Lions.

Todd Tarpley’s madcap ninja adventure will thrill kids who play hard and have active imaginations. His funny description of Naughty Ninja’s dire need for a bath segues naturally into the slapstick comedy to come. Ninja Dad’s wary warning ramps up the suspense, and readers will be eagerly anticipating Naughty Ninja’s catch phrase to see what “bad things” happen. Tarpley’s disconnect between Naughty Ninja’s thought process and his dad’s desires to get him in the tub create moments that will have appreciative kids laughing out loud. As Dad embraces the slip-sliding fun and Mom thanks them for cleaning the house, readers will be happy to adventure with this Ninja Family again and again.

Vin Vogel’s humorous, action-packed illustrations depict all the fun of Naughty Ninja’s imagination with clever details and a deft eye for scenes that make kids giggle. Flailing arms, heroic leaps, and air-born kicks are all part of Naughty Ninja’s repertoire, and his ninja outfit (which includes a black hoodie with the size tag sticking out and one untied sneaker) is inspired. Readers will enjoy pointing out the flies, bath toys, and bath accessories that become unwitting stars of Naughty Ninja’s daring rescue.

Sure to be a favorite of Ninja-loving kids and fun-loving adults, Naughty Ninja Takes a Bath would be an often-asked-for addition to home, school, and public library collections.

Ages 3 – 7

Two Lions, 2019 | ISBN 978-1542094337

Discover more about Todd Tarpley and his books on his website.

To learn more about Vin Vogel, his books, and his art, visit his website.

International Ninja Day Activity


Stealthy Ninja Maze


One little Ninja has gotten separated from her group. Can you help her find her way back in this printable maze?

Stealthy Ninja Maze | Stealthy Ninja Maze Solution


You can find Naughty Ninja Takes a Bath at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

To support your local independent bookstore, order from

Bookshop | IndieBound



January 8 – Bubble Bath Day


About the Holiday

On a cold, snowy day – or even on a sunny day if you live in a warmer climate—a bubble bath can be just the thing for relaxing at the end of the day. Your kids love splashing in the frothy suds, so why shouldn’t you enjoy them too? Take the opportunity for a little luxury and have some fun!

A Whale in the Bathtub

 Written by Kylie Westaway | Illustrated by Tom Jellett


When Bruno goes to take a bath, instead of an empty tub he finds it occupied by a whale. The whale takes a bit of offense at the little boy who is staring at him. “‘You could have knocked!’” he says. The boy is nonplussed and wants to ask the whale how he got there. He’s also a little surprised to see that the whale is luxuriating in his “bubblegum bubble bath.” Not a fan of bubblegum, however, the whale says, “‘I don’t like it. Have you got any that smells like krill?’”


Image copyright Tom Jellett, courtesy of

With the admonition that he’s “letting the heat out,” the boy leaves to find his sister, Ally. Ally is unsympathetic to her brother’s plight, and shouts to their mom, “‘Bruno’s pretending again! And he’s not taking a bath!’” Bruno protests that he’s not pretending, but his sister reminds him that last week he reported a bear under his bed and “‘on dad’s birthday, there was a walrus in the backyard.

Their mom has had enough of the squabbling and sends Bruno back upstairs. He finds the whale “scrubbing under his flippers with Dad’s back scrubber,” and when he hears that Bruno needs the tub, the whale simply says, “‘I haven’t done my tail yet. Come back later.’” Before he goes Bruno notices that despite the fact that the whale didn’t like his bubble bath, he sure seems to be using a lot of it.


Image copyright Tom Jellett, courtesy of

Bruno’s brother loves science, so Bruno tells him about the whale. “‘A whale can’t fit in a bathtub,’” Pete says. “‘Even a baby whale would be too big. And there’d be no room for the water. It’s just impossible.’” The bathroom is now splattered with water, suds, and bath toys, and the whale is still not finished. Why doesn’t the whale just wash in the ocean? There’s no hot water, no bubble bath, no soap, and no washcloths.

When Bruno goes downstairs he discovers his dad is home from his business trip. “‘Dad, there’s a whale in our bathtub!’” Bruno tells him. “‘A whale? Wow!’” His dad laughs, but even though he asks some very good questions, such as “‘How did it get there? Was there a flood today and the whale got stranded? Or did it just swim up through the drain?’” he sends Bruno back up with the promise that he’ll be there in five minutes.


Image copyright Tom Jellett, courtesy of

The whale is now “rinsing his barnacles” and reveals that he’ll be “at least another hour. Maybe four.’” But then he has an idea. The whale takes a deep breath and “Whoosh!” gives Bruno a shower, which, despite smelling a bit like krill, is one perk of having a whale in the bathtub.

Whether imaginary or real, Kylie Westaway’s Whale in the Bathtub is a fun bath-time romp. The mischievous sea creature that dwarfs the tub and has a ready retort to each of the boy’s questions and comments will make kids giggle and have them running to see if their own bathtub holds such adventure. Grounded in real family dynamics to further enhance the humorous absurdity, A Whale in the Bathtub is a great read aloud.

Tom Jellett will hook readers from their first glimpse of the enormous whale that has taken up residence in Bruno’s bath tub. So huge that he takes up two pages, the whale is a blue behemoth that loves his warm water, back scrubber, and bath toys and comes to appreciate bubblegum bubble bath. The vintage look to Jellett’s illustrations, complete with scribbled highlights and simple outlining of some details, will have kids pondering whether the whale is a figment of Bruno’s imagination and drawings or a real fish out of (sea) water.

Both reluctant bath-takers and kids who love to rub-a-dub-dub, as well as marine-animal enthusiasts, will find much to laugh about in A Whale in the Bathtub.

Ages 4 – 7

Clarion Books, 2016 | ISBN 978-0544535350

Get to know more about Kylie Westaway and find fun book-related activities on her website!

Discover a portfolio of illustration work by Tom Jellett on his website!

Bubble Bath Day Activity


Fun Foam Bath Shapes


Instead of buying bathtub clings for your kids to play with, make some yourself! It’s easy with regular foam sheets, cookie cutters or stencils, and scissors! Make it a family activity and watch the shower of creativity that results!


  • Foam sheets in various colors
  • Cookie cutters or stencils
  • Scissors


  1. Trace cookie cutter shapes or stencils onto the foam 
  2. And/Or cut squares, triangles, rectangles, circles, and other shapes from the foam in a variety of sizes
  3. Cut out the shapes
  4. Wet the backs of the shapes with water and stick them to the tub or tiled or lined wall. Shapes will also stick with a little shaving gel or cream applied

Picture Book Review