The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan

Crown. Mar. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593121924.
Gr 2-4–This staid picture book biography chronicles the life of stunt man and movie star Jackie Chan. Young Jackie practiced kung fu each morning with his father, but he was initially not a dedicated student, growing up as the class goofball and resistant to anything requiring discipline. His parents moved to Australia in the hope of building a better life, while Jackie stayed behind at the China Drama Academy to train for the opera, where he was a student for 10 years focusing on acting, fighting, and acrobatics. This period in his life instilled him with perseverance and dedication to his craft. As the opera lost popularity in China, Jackie found work as a martial arts stunt man. The text, covering a lot very quickly, is accompanied by watercolor illustrations in a calm palette of greens and yellows. Any questions readers have about the difficult periods in Jackie’s life, such as the separation from his family, are likely to be answered in the more detailed author’s note in the back matter, which also includes a thoughtful glossary of Chinese characters with phonetic Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations.
VERDICT This should find a home in many larger biography collections.

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