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‘Ninja Mom’ Author and Illustrator at JANM

A reading and signing of “Ninja Mom and Tengonis in the Tiki” will be held on Saturday, May 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum’s George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall, 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo.

Author Ren Hanami and illustrator Don Schmidt will read from their book and also provide a short martial arts demonstration for children in the audience and sign books following the reading.

“It’s time to begin your training in the art of ninjutsu, Kimi!” Today is the first day of young Kimi’s ninja training. You see, her ninja mom comes from a long line of female ninja warriors, who were taught by a divine creature in the mountains of Japan. Now it’s Kimi’s turn to learn ninja skills from her beloved Grandma Bachan, who brings her a Hawaiian tiki for good luck.

But soon, Kimi will need more than luck when a group of monsters is accidentally unleashed from the tiki. She’ll require the help of her ninja mom, inventor dad, and warrior bachan to complete her first ninja lesson.

This cultural adventure marks the first release in Hanami’s “Ninja Mom” series — inspired by the folklore and mythology from her own Japanese and Hawaiian heritage. Each tale encourages young readers to address life’s surprises with strength, positivity, and humor.

Hanami also fosters learning, by inserting Japanese and Hawaiian words, highlighted throughout and also defined in a glossary. Schmidt’s vivid illustrations deliver colorful action, further bringing this tale to life for readers of all ages.

The book is available in the JANM Store.

The event is included with museum admission. Space is limited. RSVPs are recommended. For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or visit

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