Karate Kid (Rosanne L. Kurstedt)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Karate Kid, written by Rosanne L. Kurstedt and illustrated by Mark Chambers, a delightful introduction to the vernacular and practice of karate.

A spiritual sequel to the entertaining Yoga Frog (which features the same illustrator and a different author), this entertaining mini-manual follows Goat, a literal “karate kid”, through his karate class. Beginning with rituals that display respect for the past masters, his teacher and his fellow students, Goat practices his various strikes, kicks, blocks, and stances, learning both the form and the language of each new skill.

Like Yoga Frog before it, this clever little book does a nice job of balancing a respectful look at a practice’s cultural roots in a kid-friendly way for young readers. Each element of karate that’s covered – from the rituals of respect to the traditional garb to the various movements – are accompanied by the Japanese translation (phonetic, not kanji). This is an especially great detail for young students of the discipline, as most dojos encourage learning the traditional terminology. The illustrations, which feature Goat and his sensei on single-color backgrounds, are charming, though occasionally limiting; movement in particular is difficult to portray, and certain kicks or strikes may require more research. Still, a robust afterward provides plenty of resources for further learning. The length is great, and JJ and I had a ton of fun with this one. A fantastic companion or introduction for little readers interested in karate, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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