Karate Picture Book Sends Message of Perseverance
My kids started karate about three years ago. More than a decade ago, I had been robbed at gunpoint when I lived in West Los Angeles and I have been doing martial arts off and on for about the same amount of time. I gravitate towards kickboxing which has fallen out of favor as a trendy exercise but it’s both a great workout and helpful for self-defense. I let my oldest watch my kickboxing training session which helped to convince her to try karate. She was halfway to black belt — where the rubber meets the road — when the additional time commitment was more than she wanted to sign on for. She opted for soccer instead.
Julie Black Belt, The Kung Fu Chronicles by Oliver Chin is the kind of picture book I wished we read while we were taking karate. I really like that the main character is a girl with dreamy notions of becoming a black belt but gets daunted by the actual training. This is the reality of karate — it’s a marathon, not a sprint!
But like karate, the act of doing and not giving up pays dividends in areas that cross beyond physical training: self-control, self-discipline, and self-confidence. Julie Black Belt’s message also has an overarching theme of perseverance — that achievement results from consistent hard work. Very grasshopper! Very Confucius! Very, very Asian!
The beauty of teaching this lesson is that it applies to anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that you’d want your child to achieve in: music, math, soccer, and the like. Practice, practice, practice makes perfect, perfect, perfect!
Now my youngest is taking karate. And while he may not go all the way to black belt and he thinks that karate is a series of fun games with his pals, I will read this book to him and refer to it when he’s struggling with other things.
To examine book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
I found a interesting interview with Oliver Chin and put an except below. Click here for the rest.
Introduce yourself in one sentence
A storyteller, husband, father, and publisher of www.immedium.com.
Age and Occupation
Writer, illustrator, teacher, and idea generator.
Los Angeles, CA
How long have you lived in the Bay Area and Where
In 1994, Oakland was my Ellis Island before I immigrated to San Francisco and I’ve been here ever since.
How did you get involved in writing these books?
Back in 2002 when I was completing my first two books (the graphic novel 9 of 1 and the sports commentary The Tao of Yao), my wife and I had our first baby. As we read more and more books to him, I realized that there was still a need for new and better stories for children and, just as importantly, their parents who read with them. So I decided to team up with talented creators to fashion fresh tales for Gen X, Y, and Z, and founded my company Immedium in 2005, right before our second child was born. Now we’ve published six books (with more to come in 2007), aiming to please kids and kids at heart.
What’s your favorite thing about them?
Collaborating with fantastic illustrators and artists to give people worthy alternatives to the cookie-cutter commercial widgets that permeate our culture.
What’s on your holiday wish list?
Please sir, may I have some more Peace on Earth. But until that comes, an Xbox 360 would be nice, but I’m still happy playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance on a borrowed Playstation.
What are you giving this year?
Video games, anime, comics, colorful shirts, and books of course.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.