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4.5 out of 5 stars
Karate Hour (Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth (Awards))
Format: HardcoverChange
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Karate Hour is a beautifully done book. It is done in verse, very cleverly, as the book goes through the karate class. The illustrations are breathtaking and look like photographs.. Although Karate Hour is in many respects, non fiction, it is also a work of art, where poetry and visual arts combine. Very well done.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations in this book are incredible. They come at you from unusual and creative angles. They are so detailed and realistic you would almost swear they were photographs. They are primarily black, brown and white, with the only splashes of color coming from the karate student's belts. It surprising the illustrator did not win the Caldecott Medal for this book. Hopefully he'll do another book soon and get the deserved recognition.

The author does a nice job introducing the reader to the basic history and beliefs of karate in the note at the end of the book but her poetry in the main section is content free and requires some rather strained routes to close out her rhymes.

This book would be a great gift for any child under 10 just getting introduced to karate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Karate Hour's powerful, rhythmic text captures the flow of karate, while the stunning illustrations make you feel like you're right there. My preschooler likes to follow along with the movements, even though he's not studying karate yet. This is one book you'll want to read again and again.

Review by Sherry North, Author, Because You Are My Baby
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Everyone has put on their gi and tied their ranking belts around their waists as they prepare for a karate hour. Many heads bow and bodies stretch as those hands reach for their bare feet. "We show respect, walk to our place. / The master moves with strength and grace. / We space ourselves to stand in rows. / We reach and bend to touch our toes." The stretching begins and then a yellow belt demonstrates a kick. Watch and learn, watch and learn. The eyes are serious as they peer to the side. Can there be danger lurking to the side? It's Karate Hour, a time to practice those moves and learn from the sensei.

The dojo comes alive with sound as a boy's face widens when he begins to make his voice known. "We energize. Our muscle flex. / We raise our arms, protect our necks. / We yell `Hai-ya!' and feel our power, / growing in karate hour." Bodies roll across the mats, slivers of wood fly as a foot breaks a board in two, and a girl gracefully leaps into the air. "Ki-ai!" It is time to spar while others watch while kneeling on the mats. Watch and learn, watch and learn. Karate Hour is coming to a close, but the skills and the philosophy will travel with them.

This is a fun, action-packed tale of a practice "Karate Hour" young practitioners will love. The sepia-toned, realistic photo-like illustrations spring to life in this book. The artwork is so realistic, the reader will think they are looking at photographs. The excitement of the sport is readily captured as young boys and girls practice their karate moves and exercises. This is not a book to learn karate moves, nor improve one's skills, but rather a short tale for the young karate enthusiast to enjoy. No doubt about it, Carol Nevius and Bill Thomson have another winner on their hands!

Books by Carol Nevius:

Building With Dad
Karate Hour
Soccer Hour
Baseball Hour
Karate Hour
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I trained in Shotokan Karate for twenty years or so which is the traditional form of Karate and almost identical to the style the book portrays. In our school a lot of children started their education on life through Karate classes. So I was curious what this Karate book for children would teach.

The illustrations are very good and along with the descriptions accurately portray the usual Karate class, which are about an hour (children's classes can be shorter sometimes). The book is a great way to introduce a child to a Karate class. In particular, memorizing the Dojo Kun on the last page is a requirement, an example of how Karate is more than physical exercise. In a good school, Karate is a great way do teach children discipline and respect.

The one thing I personally didn't care for was the poetic style of writing. At times I think took away the meaning. But at the end there are a couple of pages that further the explanation of a Karate class. And most Karate schools do not teach how to break a board... But it's still a fun book for kids to get an idea what a Karate class might be like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My 4 year old twin godsons want to read this book first every day. They decided to start taking karate lessons because of it. I don't even know why they like it so much; it's good, yes, but they're entranced like it's magic. I'm thrilled, so are their parents, and now the boys are learning how to be peaceful warriors. It all started with this book: how cool is that?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 31, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Karate Hour is a book that perked my interest as I used to take classes as child. I think this author captured exceptionally well the art of Karate within its pages. The book begins with children both boy and girl, all dressed and belted ready for their practice to begin.

What I really love is that the reader doesn't just see with the stunning life like illustrations but is given the opportunity through the words written to learn what feelings and thoughts and actions one might have or practice through this sport. The emotions portrayed in the illustrations are amazingly captured displaying focus, determination, respect, and discipline.

The story inside seems much more like a short poem though it doesn't always rhyme and some parts were a bit wordy. I do appreciate that there are a few pages in the back of the book that display ranking order of each different colored belt worn and there's an author note full of interesting information and history on karate.

My children liked this book very much and it was quite an enjoyable read. I'm looking to get a hold of the other books by this author and illustrator soon! Karate Hour makes for a most desirable picture book to add to any collection whether for a child or for an adult. An adult that perhaps coached or enjoys the love of karate in general, I believe would be very happy with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"Karate Hour" is another outstanding children's book by Carol Nevius; illustrator Bill Thomson again collaborates with Nevius.. The simple, rhythmic poem making up the story celebrates physical activity - karate - the practice, the respect for one's self and for others, and the self-discipline inherent in that sport.

Parents and grandparents will find Nevius' "Author's Note" at the end of the book provides additional information that may help answer a child's inevitable questions. The "Author's Note" is a brief, but excellent, overview of the sport's history and traditions. A discussion about the clothing worn during training and the ranking order, along with the belt colors are part of the "Author's Note". An example of the training rules recited at the end of class concludes "Karate Hour".

"Karate Hour" is an excellent, easy bedtime read for toddlers, and one beginning readers may want to read to the adults in their life. Adults will be entranced by the detailed, sepia illustrations. While children may prefer more colorful illustrations, they will be enchanted by Bill Thomason's work. His use of perspective and realism are incredible; the illustrations greatly enhance this fine book. Parents and grandparents may want to consider adding "Karate Hour", as well as other of Carol Nevius' books, to their little one's library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Bill Thomson's illustrations in "Karate Hour" by Carol Nevius say it all. The karate moves(katas)are shown in dramatic drawings which clearly show what the text is telling in words. The students shown are a diverse group....boys, girls, younger children and older children as well well balanced ethnic representation.

Carol Nevius' rhythmic test is easy to understand and limited to a small amount on each page. The text is perfect for second and third grade readers. I think this book is especially suited to the child who can read but is not given to sit for any length of time to do so. The illustrations will catch the reader's attention, draw him/her into the book and then the abbreviated text quickly answers the reader's questions of what is happening in the picture they are looking at on the page.

The explanation of both the beginnings of karate and its rules, as well as, the significance of the colors of the belts is interesting and could provoke a child/adult conversation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 26, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Mesmerised by Karate, I didnt pay attention to the second word hour in the title. After getting my hands on the book, the title seemed familiar and the black and white style pictures brought 'Baseball hour' book by the same author and illustrator back to mind.
I learnt a lot of things that I didnt know about Karate. The pictures are breath taking as in the previous book with the zoomed in take. The discipline and the concentration that are involved in learning the art are shown very well in the pictures. some movie stars in south India got over addiction through practising Karate.
The rhyme didnt work too well.
It can become an activity book too if you make the kids do the bends and stretches as you read of them in the book.
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