Kakapo is an avid martial arts student.
All forms are interesting to her, but karate is her favorite. For her, it’s all about the kicks: side kicks, jumping kicks, running kicks—everything except flying kicks. She gives up on flying kicks after several tries, deciding that mastering them is an impossibility. It’s a fact that kakapos can’t fly. Cartoon-style art featuring expressive ink lines captures the bright-green enthusiast. Each spread bursts with color and action until the night before her test for her black belt. This scene, in shades of gray, reflects Kakapo’s dark, worried mood. What if the senseis ask her to do a flying kick? The day of the test, Kakapo confidently goes through her paces until she’s asked to demonstrate the flying kick. Kakapo explains that she can’t. The wise sensei, a bespectacled flamingo, rephrases the request: “please show us a running, jumping side kick.” Kakapo has never heard of this but is determined to try. “Ka-ka-POW!” Only later does she realize that she’s successfully done a flying kick! The point is delivered with the precision and power of a karate chop: Failure in any given area is never preordained. That Kakapo is an athlete is a plus, but her story will resonate with all children whatever their endeavor. A brief glossary of karate terms used in the book completes the package.
“Ka-ka-POW” indeed. (Picture book. 4-8)