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Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles Hardcover – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Immedium (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597020095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597020091
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I recommend this book. The characters' constant state of motion adds excitement to the story. The kung fu classes are filled with male and female racially diverse students, and their cartoon-like appearance will appeal to children. When children read Julie's story they will understand how important and beneficial it can be to keep going despite difficulties. Julie's tireless effort and enthusiastic attitude create a positive ending to this story." - Resource Links

“This is a great book for girls (or boys!) who are interested in martial arts. The message is practice and hard work get results and that applies to most things in life.” - PinkwithSparkles

“With art by Charlene Chua, Julie Black Belt features a girl who decides that with a little hard work, kung fu can be fun.” – Super Punch

“the illustrations are so bright and vivid, younger kids may enjoy the story anyway. Charlene Chua definitely does a great job. There are lots of nice details while keeping everything simple and clean. The martial arts seem to be very popular these days; there's probably 3 or 4 studios in our little town. So, if your little one is interested, or if you're looking to get your child interested, this book might be perfect for you.” - SuperCoolBaby

“Finding a female Asian heroine in a children’s book is a pleasant surprise... Parents struggling to instill values in their children will appreciate the persevering young heroine who forgets external rewards while focusing on internal goals. The illustrations, reminiscent of ‘The Incredibles’ animated film, are bright and crisp. Take a look at this book. You might even see yourself in Julie.” - Nichibei Times

“I recommend this book. The characters’ constant state of motion adds excitement to the story. The kung fu classes are filled with male and female racially diverse students, and their cartoon-like appearance will appeal to children. When children read Julie’s story they will understand how important and beneficial it can be to keep going despite difficulties. Julie’s tireless effort and enthusiastic attitude create a positive ending to this story.”
– Paper Tigers

“Oliver Chin’s story moves at a fast enough pace to keep children engaged while still managing to show the different stages Julie goes through in finally earning her yellow belt. Charlene Chua’s bright colors and animated illustrations of Julie practicing different skills are fun to look at. Julie Black Belt is a story about perseverance and serves as a great example to teach children how working hard pays off.” – Northwest Asian Weekly


From the Inside Flap

"Julie Black Belt 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." —Pragmatic Mom

When Julie takes a kung fu class, she thinks getting a black belt will be easy. But her new instructor says guess again! As reality doesn’t match her expectations, Julie wonders what would her matinee idol Brandy Wu would do.

Julie takes her lessons to heart. But can this “white belt” pass the test to show her family, teacher, and heroine this sport’s true spirit? A refreshing character that children identify with, Julie displays what real kid power is!

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
It is wonderful for any young aspiring martial artist - especially for girls.
Chipmunk Paw
The utterly exuberant artwork enhances this wonderful picturebook ideal for helping get young girls excited about the prospect of learning self-defense.
Midwest Book Review
The drawings/illustrations are bold, contemporary, and eye-catching -- and aptly complement the story from cover to cover.
Ms. Jess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mantis on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
An impatient young girl begins training in Kung Fu (Chinese martial arts), wondering how fast she can obtain a black belt. The cover picture illustrates how she imagines herself. The story follows her as she learns basic stances and movements. Gradually, she learns the value of patience, perseverance and perfecting through practice. The book culminates with Julie undergoing her first belt test. Will she pass it?

Although this book is not worthy of Caldecott Medal consideration, it is still nicely done on an obscure topic. The illustrator's work correctly shows Kung Fu movements and stances, with the exception of the "horse stance" where there is a silly misconception of a horse standing up on its hind legs with no rider on its back.

The author, Oliver Chin, answers basic questions on the primary grade level. He can identify with the typical thoughts and fantasies of young martial arts beginners. This book does not degrade the value of a black belt. For ages 4-8.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ullanta on May 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I guess i should have figured this out from the title and description, but I hoped I would be able to gloss over the belts with my little ones... but the story is too tied into them (ha!). The colored belt system is not really a Chinese martial arts tradition, and traditional kung fu teachers do not deal in belts. Rather, the achievements are internalized by the student through their own satisfaction, confidence, ability, and knowledge of their body and the energy that flows through it. The quest for belts, to me, takes away from the spiritual and internal, meditative, self-awareness aspects of kung fu. So: if your child is studying in a place where the window lists "Kung Fu - Karate - Muay Thai - Kickboxing - Krav maga - Rumi Maki", then you might not mind the intermingling, the belt system, and the lack of a deep approach to the art. But if your child is studying in a traditional school that focuses on kung fu and the associated skills and deep understanding, this book will not be relevant, and may be a distraction.

I hope this doesn't seem overly negative - but the belt system seems to be a big dividing line in philosophies. If you work with a belt system, this book is great; if you want to avoid the belt system, avoid this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Jess on June 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Julie Black Belt is a delightful story which teaches children perseverance! Not to mention that the book gives them a great visual/textual introduction to the high-flying stylized world of martial arts kicks and jumps. I know there's a whole lot more to martial arts other than "spectacular physical moves", but that's perhaps another (philosophical) story, for another time.

Through the character, Julie, children find out that there are no short cuts to success. She has to work very hard to earn each belt as she progresses through the various levels of Kung Fu (Kung Fu being a popular term that has become synonymous with Chinese martial arts. However, in Chinese, kung fu can be used in contexts completely unrelated to martial arts...but I guess that, also, is another story for another time).

Of course, the captivating illustrations of this book are a total visual treat!! They are the illustrations of the award-winning, Toronto-based illustrator, Charlene Chua, who specializes in sleek vector artwork. The drawings/illustrations are bold, contemporary, and eye-catching -- and aptly complement the story from cover to cover.

Dang, this makes me wish I was a kid when this book first appeared on the market...
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Format: Hardcover
Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles is a picturebook about a young girl who learns how to study martial arts. She dreams that learning kung fu will make her more like a movie star, but is surprised to find out how much hard work is involved! But her teacher encourages her; "A black belt is just a white belt that doesn't quit." Julie learns how to incorporate her martial arts practice into her daily life; when the day of her gold belt test comes, she's nervous but passes with flying colors, earning a special prize - an autographed photo of her favorite celebrity, Brandy Wu! The utterly exuberant artwork enhances this wonderful picturebook ideal for helping get young girls excited about the prospect of learning self-defense.
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