Jojo's Flying Side Kick

( 2 )

Overview

When Master Kim announces JoJo is ready to take the test for her yellow belt, butterflies start fluttering in her stomach. JoJo loves Tae Kwon Do, but can she really do a perfect flying side kick and break a board in two? Her family and friends offer all sorts of advice: "Do a little shuffle to chase the jitters away," says Grandaddy. "Yell 'KIAH!' at the top of your lungs," P.J. advises. "Why don't you visualize your technique?" Mom suggests.
But how can JoJo ever hope to ...

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Overview

When Master Kim announces JoJo is ready to take the test for her yellow belt, butterflies start fluttering in her stomach. JoJo loves Tae Kwon Do, but can she really do a perfect flying side kick and break a board in two? Her family and friends offer all sorts of advice: "Do a little shuffle to chase the jitters away," says Grandaddy. "Yell 'KIAH!' at the top of your lungs," P.J. advises. "Why don't you visualize your technique?" Mom suggests.
But how can JoJo ever hope to succeed when she's still afraid of the creepy bandit tree outside her bedroom window? JoJo needs to find a way to turn her fears into success, and she soon realizes there's only one person who can help her do that — herself.

Everyone gives Jojo advice on how to perform in order to earn her yellow belt in tae kwon do class, but in the end she figures it out for herself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
JoJo, a Tae Kwon Do white belt student, must break a board with a flying side kick in order to earn her yellow belt. She adds her worry about the test to her ever-present fear of the tree that looms ``like a creepy bandit'' in her front yard, but confides her nervousness to Granddaddy, her friend P.J. and her mother. All three offer advice drawn from their own experiences (``Visualize your technique.... That's what I do before a tennis match,'' says Mom). JoJo utilizes their suggestions as well as her own resources: visualizing the board as the creepy tree, she leaps into the air and smashes it. Energetic scratchboard and oil illustrations swirl with movement in a vivid palette of deep blues, greens and white. Pinkney renders the tree as reasonably ominous; accordingly, the late addition of a spooky face and hands to illustrate JoJo's terror is somewhat over the top. As in Pinkney's Max Found Two Sticks, the action plays out within a compressed time span, concentrating the tension. While the prose is not as taut this time, the author/artist again gets effortlessly into the mind of his protagonist. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In order for JoJo to advance from a white to a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do, she must break a board with a flying side kick. Little wonder she worries! Everyone offers support and advice. Granddaddy recommends that she do a little fancy footwork ``to chase away the jitters,'' the way he did before his boxing matches. Her friend advises her that, when she yells ``KIAH,'' she should make it come from deep in her stomach for greater power. Her mother advocates a winning visualization technique. When the big test comes, JoJo does all three. She dances a bit on her feet, shouts from deep inside, and visualizes a ``creepy'' tree in her own yard that has always frightened her. She successfully calls upon her own inner resources to overcome more than one fear and earns the coveted yellow belt. Pinkney's art lifts this story above the narrow realm of self-help bibliotherapy. His illustrations, executed in scratchboard and oil, excel at the depiction of movement-whether it is the movement of a scary tree (archetype for any number of childhood fears) or the movement of a flying side kick. Children will be fascinated by the sport, by the refreshing female protagonist, and by the thrill of her accomplishment. An author's note gives more information about Tae Kwon Do. This will not be a shelf-sitter.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689821929
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 541,331
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Pinkney is one of the most celebrated talents in children's publishing. In his career he has won two Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King medal, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and three Coretta Scott King Honors. For Simon & Schuster he illustrated The Faithful Friend, which won the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor, Sukey and the Mermaid, which won the Coretta Scott King Honor, and The Adventures of Sparrowboy, which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn, New York — which is where this story takes place.

Brian Pinkney is one of the most celebrated talents in children's publishing. In his career he has won two Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King medal, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and three Coretta Scott King Honors. For Simon & Schuster he illustrated The Faithful Friend, which won the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Honor, Sukey and the Mermaid, which won the Coretta Scott King Honor, and The Adventures of Sparrowboy, which won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. He lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn, New York — which is where this story takes place.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2007

    Ridiculous

    While a sweet tale of how Jojo gains the confidence to do what it required to test for yellow belt, it should be known that not one single Tae Kwon Do instructor worth his or her salt would teach a flying side kick to a beginning level student! Absolutely ridiculous. If my students were expected to do a flying side kick at their very first belt test, I'd have no students left! Proper flying side kicks require a mastery of body and foot position, not to mention the dynamics of motion, none of which is taught to a beginning student who is still trying to figure out how to make a proper fist for a punch. This book shows the author's lack of Tae Kwon Do knowledge. Perhaps a better title and plot mover would have been 'Jojo's Front Snap Kick,' which many TKD schools require at the test for the first belt beyond white.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    Recommended for elementary school students, grades K-3

    Brian Pinkney's well written and illustrated fictional story has the reader learn about Tae Kwon Do, a marial art form that was created in ancient Korea. The main character, JoJo, is given advice on how to perform in order to earn her yellow belt. In the end, it is JoJo that discovers she has the ability and courage to achieve her goal of earning a yellow belt. My students loved the story and could not wait to meet the author/illustrator of this book. Brian Pinkney has a black belt and has competed nationally and internationally.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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