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Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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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.”
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
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!
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My son likes this book and I like it too! I like how it features a girl as the main character and highlights the importance of perseverance and hard work!Published on August 25, 2012 by Jet
My co-worker's 5 year old daughter wanted to take ballet; her father wanted her to take martial arts. I bought the book for her and she loved it. Her father did too!Published on June 16, 2010 by R. Lou