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KARATE HOUR by Carol Nevius


by Carol Nevius & illustrated by Bill Thomson

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7614-5169-2
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Viewers will definitely feel like participants in this visit to a children’s karate class. Using a palette of creams and grays against dark backgrounds (with color accents provided by variously colored belts), and lighting and low angles that give his close-up, photographically realistic figures a monumental look, Thomson depicts students warming up, practicing strikes and kicks, engaging in some light sparring, then lining up for a closing ritual. In her rhymed commentary and closing note, Nevius briefly describes what’s going on—“We energize. Our muscles flex. / We raise our arms, protect our necks”—while introducing rudiments of karate’s history and “aims to finish what someone else starts” philosophy. Despite the elaborate illustrations, this offers a more superficial view of karate’s inner workings than Anne Rockwell’s Chip and the Karate Kick (p. 447), but nonetheless makes an adequate first introduction for prospective karate-kas. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)