Kakapo knew what it took to master karate-time and hard work. And she was committed. Every day, she went to the dojo to practice with the other students.
An energetic story about a female bird, Kakapo, who loves karate, especially the kicks! Kakapo is a committed athlete who exemplifies that hard work and practice can lead to great accomplishments.
This story starts with Kakapo diligently practicing for her latest (black) belt test. On the night before the test at her dojo, Kakapo is excited and nervous, something readers can all relate to being on the eve of a big event! Kakapo is worried that, since she can’t fly, she won’t be able to perform the most difficult kick – the flying side kick.
In illustrating the day of the test, illustrator Stacy Curtis does an amazing job in showing a variety of nervous birds about to take their karate tests. Readers see birds hiding behind their hands, with furrowed eyebrows, flapping their wings in anxiety and staring at the instructors with great trepidation while waiting for their names to be called.
Finally, it’s Kakapo’s turn, and she does superbly in demonstrating her skills, but then comes the sensei’s request for her flying side kick. Kakapo nervously explains that kakapos can’t fly and so she can’t do that particular kick; she is overcome with disappointment that she won’t earn her black belt today. But the sensei is an extraordinary teacher and asks her for a running, jumping side kick instead, and Kakapo makes up her mind that, although she has never heard of such a kick, she had to try! With great athleticism, determination and a bit of bravado (Ka-Ka-Pow!), Kakapo is able to accomplish the running, jumping side kick (aka the flying side kick) and earns her black belt. This inspiring display of karate skill is met with flaps, claps and chants from her fellow belt test-takers and other onlookers.
The bright and colourful illustrations throughout Karate Kakapo emphasize the power and grace of the sport of karate with the added layer of illustrating a wide range of emotions. A great addition for daycares and teachers SEL (social emotional learning) lessons, Karate Kakapo is also a great story for any family with a little one interested in sports, especially martial arts!
Reagan Kapasi is a librarian at the Toronto Reference Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences department in Toronto, Ontario. Reagan has also worked as the Director of Inventory and Outreach for The Children’s Book Bank, a children’s literacy charity that gives away free books to children and families in high needs Toronto neighbourhoods.