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Dedication for “The Can-Do Karate Kid” Book

I decided not to have a dedication page in the front of my children’s picture book, “The Can-Do Karate Kid,” for a few reasons. It’s not that I didn’t have tons of help and support in the book creation process for which I am grateful. It’s just that I remember reading books as a kid, as well as being read to, and I wanted to get down to the story. As a child, I didn’t want to hear a dedication about some person I didn’t know, who was (as far as I knew) not in the book.

Also, I would like to acknowledge and make a dedication to too many people. I just couldn’t fit them into a small space on a page. Nor pick just one or two. I would like to express my gratitude here. And despite its length, this list is not all inclusive. There are additional people who have been a part of my journey over the years. Even if your name isn’t listed, I’m still grateful for you. Thank you all for helping me walk on this journey where my love for writing and drawing intersects with my passion for karate and mentoring.

Dedication and Acknowledgements

Most people listed in this dedication will be by first name and/or identifying factors since I don’t know how famous you all want to be. I’ll start with the exceptions. Joey O is already a celebrity as the greatest golf entertainer as well as a published author. He has been a positive mentor in encouraging me to follow my “Dream Seed,” with great advice on a lot of writing industry nuts and bolts.

Joey O standing on exercise ball swinging through after hitting golf ball.

Karate Dedication

My first karate teacher, Michael Newland was the first person to introduce me to goal-setting. It was because of his influence that I found (or was reminded of) my goal of writing for children. He continues to cheer me on in this area. Allan Amor, my martial arts instructor, is another positive influence on living a positive life toward my goals.

I am additionally grateful to both of them in guiding me on the path of traditional Okinawan karate. And to all of those teachers who came before who made it possible for us to have that path today. That includes Sakugawa Sensei who created the Dojo Kun over 200 years ago.

I also dedicate this book to all of my United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance family. You have been so supportive in my early writing pursuits and all the way up to this book and that means a lot to me.

book dedication to the United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance
United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance at Summer Camp


My dear husband, Kirk, took on most of the roles below and did so in a thoughtful and generous way. I regularly asked him and our children for a lot of input whether they liked it or not, often out of the blue. And I am thankful for how they helped, literally, shape this book. All of my family, as well, helped me get to this point on my path. I am thankful for all of their support.

Dedication to the rest of the “Village” that helped me Raise this Book Baby

Thank you to all of my many “beta readers” who took the time to give their feedback. These people and more helped me improve the book (and keep the good parts): Kim, Kyle, Piper, Ethan, Keilah, Najat, Tahj, Gaby, Alvin, Ezra, Lulu, Danette, Mia, Noah, Corrie, Warren, Adele, Erin, Martie, Cathy, Tressie, Sam, Elizabeth, Linda, Ronnie, Jessica, Luke and Blake. (Listed in chronological order.)

My art editors shared their gift of artists’ eyes. Thanks to them, the cover design as well as interior illustrations came a long way: Adele, Kirk, Mel, Michael and Phoenix.

My critique partners were invaluable in improving this work. Those not listed already are Becky, Cassie, Cecilia, Dorie and Jo.

two women smiling

Reviewers took extra time to think about what people should know about this book. And to put that into words. And I appreciate it. (I was surprised and delighted to find that my ground-level reviewers wound up listed in the details for the book on its Amazon page.)

Brian was generous in lending me much-needed technical support. Thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise. And for taking the time to teach me some website design.

Organizational Dedication

This dedication must include my dojo family members who were unwittingly pulled into this project. For example, we would be at the dojo for class and there I was, asking for their ideas and input on the story, characters and even help with illustration issues. They jumped right in, helping me along, just as all good students and dojo family members do for each other.

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has been a huge, positive support to me on this children’s picture book creation journey. As such, many thanks go to these, my author, mentor, and co-learner peeps: Sharon Skinner, Michael Hale, Tanja Baurle, Mel Narish, Laura Ellen Handy, Sara Francis Fujimura, Kathie McMahon, Eric Boyd, Delores Jannereth, Susan Edie Ashe and Eileen Pieczonka.

dedication to the SCBWI

Highlights Magazine for Children was the first traditional, international publisher to recognize me and my writing in their publication. I appreciate that.

I couldn’t forget my Writing Community on Twitter. They have been most welcoming and supportive.

Additionally I would like to acknowledge the Writers in Residence programs at the Mesa and Tempe libraries. Several of their participating authors have helped me navigate my writing career and the intricate, ever-changing writing industry.

Though I am the ambassador that brought this book into being, I sometimes feel that it really is a book by all of you. It’s a community thing and thank you for being a part of it. May it benefit our communities and our youth. Last but absolutely not least, this book is also dedicated to all children.

-Jenifer Tull-Gauger

Makoto, main character of “The Can-Do Karate Kid,” when he was a baby.

Want to read more? Here’s an author blog with details about “The Can-Do Karate Kid” story.

Jenifer Tull-Gauger Kyoshi

Children's picture book author/illustrator. Traditional karate teacher and practitioner. Loves drawing and all kinds of art. Also into animals, plants and Mother Nature.

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