cover image The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan

The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan

Kristen Mai Giang, illus. by Alina Chau. Crown, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-12192-4

In this picture book biography of Hong Kong–born martial artist, stuntman, actor, and director Jackie Chan (b. 1954), Giang traces the figure’s life, covering his “poor but happy” childhood, a disciplined decade of schooling at the China Drama Academy, and his becoming a stuntman for Bruce Lee and later developing his own style: “Buster Keaton with kung fu flair and a little Fred Astaire.” Though the illustrations’ resemblance to Chan is questionable, vivid, fine-lined watercolors by Chau offer sweeping, energetic cartoon-style scenes. Chinese calligraphy appears throughout, while plentiful onomatopoeia and staccato sentences successfully evoke the action in this dynamic profile of a living legend. Back matter includes a glossary of Chinese characters and their Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciations. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)