Earlier this year, I was privileged to have an art critique session with Mel Narish for my second Dojo Kun Character Book. This picture book for kids just came out in hardcover. It’s called "The Two True Karate Kids" and is about battling dishonesty. Anyway, here’s a peek at how my meeting with Mel went.
Here is where I share my gratitude list all about the things I’m thankful for in regards to my exciting children’s picture book creation adventure.
Dishonesty is the name of the antagonist in my new children’s picture book, "The Two True Karate Kids." She is depicted as a yellow and green spider monster that changes sizes. Not seen in the book, here’s a picture of Dishonesty as a Baby.
Two months ago, I went to read my first karate picture book to a kindergarten class. In uniform, I introduced myself and told them the reason I was there. “I made this book so that kids who don’t train at my dojo, maybe who don’t do martial arts and who live in other parts of the world can learn some of the most important lessons of karate.”
Needing a somewhat ominous and serious-looking dishonesty spider for the antagonist in my children's picture book, I researched spider photos. After some advice from one of my art critiquers, I came up with a second round of concept art shared here.
Here you will find a picture of Michi as a baby, but in my second picture book story, she’s nine years old. She’s a sweet American “girl next door.” Michi and her good friend Makoto both love dogs and they each yearn to have one for a pet. That's when the trouble starts.
Here are some of the karate picture book particulars for my second book. GENRE: Realistic fiction with imagined abstract concepts. SETTING: Modern day America, mostly in two homes and a karate school.
I had written and edited the story for my first book, and finished the illustrations. The next step was printing book prototypes so that I could get input from beta readers including both children and adults. I needed professional color printing, so off to the printer I went.
It must be an age-old conundrum for practiced martial artists. Even adults brag on their karate skills, but lack the ability to show it. Traditional martial artists consistently build character and that should be apparent in their behavior of striving for respect, self-control and confidence even if they never show you their fighting or defense moves.
For my first two classroom readings of my character building book I went to two separate kindergarten classrooms where I knew none of the kids and only one of the teachers. That’s where I introduced character concepts through my fictional karate story.