Little Kunoichi: LAUNCHED!! + Giveaway [CLOSED]


Taiko drum roll please…..


Little Kunoichi is large and in charge! Today is THE day, and I am doing imaginary backflips and round-offs of excitement!! The build-up has been so long, I thought I would be all blasé and casual and “Oh, is it the launch date today?”, but no no no. It’s a big deal. A huge deal. I am planning on visiting as many bookstores as I can today to surreptitiously snap photos of my book on shelves because this will never, ever, ever happen again: my first published book! (though I hope I will get to work on many, many more books)

I’m jumping up and down and full of nervous energy so I’m keeping this short. I thought I would show you my favorite parts of the book today:


You’ve seen the island map before, but I just love it to pieces.


And then there’s the secret ninja girls’ school, of which Little Kunoichi is a pupil.


And then….my pride and joy, the island festival page. I’ve hidden Little K and her new friend Chibi Samurai and the page is chock-full of Japanese references that are too numerous to list here, but if it’s of interest, I’d be happy to go into it another time.

Oh…this is so unreal. I am counting my blessings and trying to bottle this surreal feeling of a dream come true. Infinite thanks to my amazing editor Tegan and to the whole crew at Sasquatch Books that made this such a lovely expedition. And thank you, for the cheering on, the don’t-give-ups and for welcoming Little Kunoichi into your homes.


I have the impression that many of you have already gotten a copy of the book, but if anyone out there would like to win a copy, I’ve got some to offer up. Or, if you’ve already got Little K in your hands (or a copy is on its way), I would also love to give away prints of my favorite pages that you see above. The island print is 8″ x 8″, and the ninja school and island prints are about 6″ x 11″, all printed on high quality, archival paper. I’ll select five winners and you have the choice of the book or one of the prints.

M made a comment that made me laugh so hard, I have to share: he said that if I made $100,000 with the book, he would immediately go out and get a Little Kunoichi tattoo. This, I have to see. Neither of us has a tattoo so this is a significant thing — we shook on it! So please tell everyone about my book! It might take several decades to get to that amount, but he’ll be a rockin’ senior citizen with a cute ninja tattoo. To enter the giveaway, any comment will do, but maybe you have a suggestion for where the tattoo should go? I’m still trying to decide…

I’ll keep the give away open until this Friday, May 8th. Good luck!

P.S. I’m skipping tomorrow as I prepare for the launch party on Sunday and wrap up some work for book #2. Would love to meet you if you’re local! And see you back here on Friday!

P.P.S. Just in case I confused people, which I am known to do, I’m considering today Little Kunoichi’s official day of birth…hence, she’s saying “it’s my birthday” up there.


70 thoughts on “Little Kunoichi: LAUNCHED!! + Giveaway [CLOSED]

  1. So wonderful that you have such a meaningful outlet for your talent. This book is gorgeous! I already ordered one, but who wouldn’t want an extra?

    Congratulations and happy birthday! Your husband should get the tattoo anyway. 🙂

  2. My niece Lylah would love this book. Congratulations and hope there are many more to come.

  3. Your illustrations are just beautiful! I especially like the secret nina girl school, with the gorgeously detailed tiles on the roof. Well done and happy birthday 🙂

  4. Congratulations, Sanae! It looks wonderful and I definitely want to get one for my girls. As for the tattoo, it should go somewhere visible so that he can do some advertising for you! On the forearm, maybe? 😉

  5. Gaaaaah, this is too cute! I want a copy for my very self! Who needs kids just to hoard children’s books? Not I! (:
    Happy birthday, Sanae, and huge congratulations on the book! My birthday is at the end of May, and if I don’t win a copy of the book, I’ll ask for one for my birthday, either from my boyfriend or from my sister or from my parents. Someone will definitely have to get me one!
    As for where M should get the Little K tattoo, I’m undecided. I immediately pictured it on the upper arm, for some reason, but that’s a little boring, isn’t it? I can’t think of anywhere else that would be as fun, however, so upper arm it is! Make him get one! (:

  6. Yay! Congratulations! so very exciting! Would love to win this book. My boys and I would enjoy it! Even if I don’t win, I will definitely be getting a copy. I just love your beautiful illustrations.

  7. Congratulations Sanae, your illustrations look absolutely magical. And I love, love, love maps in storybooks. Not a big fan of tattoos, though, so here’s my suggestion: get some Little Kunoichi temporary tattoos printed up, and M can wear one in a different place each week 🙂

  8. Happy Birthday, Little Kunoichi! I can’t wait to read your story with my little one! Oh, and I think a Kunoichi tattoo would be great on a shoulder blade 😉

  9. Wow, Sanae! This is so great! Congratulations to you on all of your hard work getting out there

  10. The prints are just lovely and I already ordered a copy of the book for my little people!

  11. I can’t bring myself to order from Amazon so I’m going out on a hunt for the book this afternoon! Congrats! Glad to hear you ar basking in it.

    I thing M should have a little ninja girl on his kicking foot, nestled up toward his little toe.

  12. Oh that’s pretty funny. I would probably make my husband get the tattoo on his forearm so it would be visible most of the time, but then again I can’t picture my husband with a tattoo!
    Congratulations from what I’ve seen it’s a fabulous book!

  13. Your illustrations are sooo beautiful, I would love to win a copy of your book to read to my son. Congratulations, so excited for you x

  14. Congratulations, Sanae! The book looks beautiful – those illustrations are right up my alley! I would love to throw my name in for consideration! Thanks. PS Enjoy the rush!!!

  15. Got mine last night!! It’s a beautiful book and an all-around beautiful object. Happy, happy launch day, Sanae 🙂

  16. Oh, I would love the book! I am going to buy it if I don’t win. I’m so excited for you. I have my own little ninja here. She recently got a ribbon (for dance) at a garage sale for 50 cents and her routine consists of waiving the ribbon like she’s slashing you with a sword. She’s so fun!

  17. Congratulations, Sanae! It must be so exciting! 🙂
    I would love to win a copy of your book, it seems really beautiful.
    As for the tattoo placement, maybe in the chest, near the heart 😉
    All the best for you and Little K!

  18. Sanae – I’m usually a lurker here but had to write to say congratulations! I preordered a copy and have been eager for its arrival. Enjoy the excitement and the day – what an accomplishment! (And since middle school I’ve always assumed that an ankle is the best possible place for a tattoo). – Megan

  19. Congratulations!! Your drawings are so beautiful! I have to get my hands on your book for my nieces since my kids don’t speak english 🙂 and I’m sure your husband will have that tattoo in no time 😉

  20. Congratulations!! My 5yo is just getting interested in weaponry (lots of sword play at the moment), so I think a little ninja would be perfect for her right about now!

  21. How exciting!! I can’t wait to see this book in real life. I love the festival page!

  22. I’m so excited for you! I hope my pre-ordered copy comes today. Enjoy the moment and pat yourself on the back.

  23. wow. your illustrations – the colour, the detail, the imagination. perfection! i can’t wait to read your book with my daughter.
    ps – i love a book with a map. looooooove getting lost in them. and it makes the story even more real.
    pps – tattoo locale suggestion… inner heel. it’s kind of secret, but flauntable if desired, and easy for him to peek at as a reminder of his loves. but it hurts. like. heck. but worth it!

  24. HUGE congrats! How cool is this! I’ll definitely order a copy! Even though we are german, I so want this book. To support you! To show my kids your wonderful paintings! And to finally see what this little ninja girl is up to! Wishing you all possible success! This is to you!

  25. Doing the happy dance for you! So thrilled, so proud. I hope you are having a wonderful day of snapping photos of Little K around town – love that you’re doing that:)

  26. Congratulations!!! Its such a big pleasure to share this special moments with you! I love sooooo much your ilustrations…. This is a very special book and M…. I can see little Kunoichi waving over his right shoulder 🙂 🙂 🙂

  27. Happy birthday, little Kunoichi! You sound like you could be friends with Pipi Longstocking 😉 I don’t know you yet, but I already adore you! I am so very happy for you, Sanae and yes, this tattoo needs to happen! Best wishes and the happiest of days to you!

  28. Congratulations! This is an amazing accomplishment, and I’m excited for you! Take as many pictures as you want of the book on display, and let us see a few so we can share your excitement. I’d love to win a copy for my three year old granddaughter, but if not, I’ll be ordering her one!

  29. Congratulations!! Can’t wait for my copy to arrive from Amazon UK. I would love a print though for my daughters’ room.
    Re tattoo: perhaps you should try temporary/washable ninja tattoos (no idea whether they even exist!) and see where you’d like it best!! 😉

  30. I’m happy for you Sanae!!! In many ways you have taken us on your journey with you and it has been amazing to watch!!! Happy Birthday Little Kunoichi 🙂

  31. First tattoo- . Ninjas are in stealth mode 24/7 so it has to be a mostly hidden area 😉

    Secondly as I have also already ordered the book I’d love a print. It would be gifted to my niece (which is who the book is for) and then past to the next child in the family ect ect.

    Congratulations on having your book published xxx

  32. Happy birthday little Kunoichi! Does she have a name? I think the tattoo should go on his arm. You don’t want it where no one can see it. Unless he is in the habit of wearing unbuttoned shirts it could go on his chest instead. Congratulations!!!

  33. yay, congrats!!! He should get it on his wrist facing towards the body/torso. that way he can always see the tattoo when he’s writing.

  34. Happy launch day! Your illustrations are beautiful! As for the tatoo, I agree on the arm placement so it can be seen. 🙂

  35. Such beautiful illustrations! I’m excited to read this and gift it to my niece ☺

  36. Oooh! How wonderful!

    I want to buy a copy of the book from my local Kids Books store (to encourage sales!) but I would love a print!

  37. Congratulations on your book. The illustrations are so beautiful. And that secret ninja girls’ school is stunning. Love it.

  38. Sanae this is amazing! You must be so proud. Your illustrations are just glorious. I would love to win a copy but if I don’t win I’ll be buying it for my boys anyway. Congratulations amazing woman!

  39. Congrats on the book! My little girl adores commenting illustrations (altough still quite ‘basic’ as in ‘paataati’, appetaaa’, but she’ll get better in it for sure ;-)) so let’s say she would be incredibly happy with the book or a print (so she can comment on it before going to bed :-)). Good luck!

  40. Yay yay yay! I just ordered and am super excited to receive a copy in India, probably in time for my daughter’s birthday. She loves the kind of detailed illustrations that the book promises and I am sure will enjoy the book. Can’t wait to get my hands on it 🙂

    I am so very happy for you.

    I’d love to win one of the prints. And as for the question: what about some nice place forearm. Perhaps too boring? But that’s what I’d do.

  41. This looks like such a lovely book that I think I will buy it and translate as we go when reading to my daughter! Pity it doesn’t seem to be released in Europe until in July.

    Congratulations on the launch! You should be proud and I hope M will need to get a tattoo even if I dislike them 🙂 .

  42. Hurrah! Have fun today…so exciting. I can’t tell you how much I love those little Sumo wrestlers. So cute! Many, many congratulations.

  43. My son LOVES it. I think one favorite part is where you mention the Go game being from China. “Yay! I’m from China!” He is now singing a ninja song. Thanks for sharing your vision and art and storytelling!

  44. Yea! Happy Birthday to Little Kunoichi! What an achievement! I’d love to win a copy! I think the tattoo should go above his ankle so she can kick butt when he does! hehehe….

  45. Congratulations, Sanae! The book looks so adorable and fun. My son loves playing ninja (he makes shuri kens at school and says “nin nin”), so I think he would love your book. I especially like the island map. If we don’t win a copy, then we will buy one as it would be great for my daughter as well. I think somewhere that can be discrete would be nice for a tatoo – like upper arm, inner ankle perhaps? All the best!

  46. Absolutely stunning Sanae. Your illustrations are so so so beautiful. I am going to order the book, but man I would love a print. I also love the idea of the tattoo – I will tell everyone I know about the book to do my bit to make that happen!

  47. So many congratulations on such a beautiful piece of work? My granddaughter and I each have our copies, and we love love love it. Perfect for a little girl who thinks only being a princess can bring her happiness 🙂 Another pov. Absolutely wonderful, we both adore it!

  48. Congratulations!! We received Little K yesterday and I cant wait to read it to my daughter tonight! Your illustrations are so beautiful – I would love a print to frame!

  49. So exciting! Congratulations! I have the book on my Amazon wishlist, but I think I’ll take the little ones to an independent bookstore to buy a copy. Too bad you’re not slated for a book tour in San Diego. Maybe for book number two, when your publisher sees what a smashing sucess Little Kunoichi becomes. Fingers crossed!

  50. Congratulations! It looks beautiful! I will go and look for it in Elliot Bay Books 🙂

  51. Of course the tattoo should go on his forehead so that everyone can tell he’s lost a bet! Congratulations on your books’ birthday! My copy should be at my house any day now!

  52. Congrats on your first book! Your drawings look so nice.
    What do you think of a lower-back tattoo a.k.a tramp stamp? 😀
    I’d like to win the book for *myself* (I don’t have kids yet :p) coz I really like your style and I enjoy reading children books. My favourite is the classic “Charlotte’s web”. What’s your fave? Thanks for the giveaway!

  53. Congratulations!! It’s a beautiful book!! I can’t wait to get my copy! I think M should get the tattoo on either his left or right butt cheek, (whichever side he keep his wallet in his pocket), so when he sits on it, he’s reminded of the 100K! lol

  54. Congratulations Sanae! I’m still waiting for my copy (I think is going to take longer because little Kunoichi needs to cross the big pond :P) but I would be so happy if I win any of the illustrations! About advice for the tattoo…maybe the amount $100.000 in the arm to remind him of the success :).

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