Ninja Timmy by Henrik Tamm
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Closer to a 2.5.
Ninja Timmy, at its core, has a lot going for it. The anthropomorphic animals in a steampunk-style setting works for this age group, and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. On the other hand, the plot (involving stealing the souls of children to give a robot a soul so it can feel love) is more than a little bizarre.
The worst parts, though, are twofold. For one, the translation (in whatever form, whether from the original author or someone else), appears to have sucked a lot of the life out of the story. Everything feels declarative and matter-of-fact, especially action sequences (which you'd expect in spades in a book with "Ninja" in the title). Perhaps worst of all, though, is that the "final battle," as it were, is basically written away as "this happened, but no one was there to witness it," which completely took away from all the buildup. Incredibly disappointing.
Overall, this just didn't work for me. It's a shame, too, because stories like this should be better, and when you have illustrations this good to go along with the tales, it should be an absolute winner. At least in English, it fails on both counts.
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