The Karate Kid: The Classic Illustrated Storybook
The Karate Kid: The Classic Illustrated Storybook is the newest in the Pop Classics line from Quirk Books. I previously talked about Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book, from the same line. That book was an original story, but this one retells the 1984 movie. It’s based on the film written by Robert Mark Kamen and directed by John G. Avildsen, and this book is adapted by Rebecca Gyllenhaal and illustrated by Kim Smith, who has done all the titles in the line.
You probably already know what happens: Daniel, new kid in town, is picked on by karate bully Johnny, until Mr. Miyagi agrees to train him. His teaching methods are unconventional, involving repetitive chores, but they succeed in preparing Daniel for the big tournament.
Smith’s art is excellent, making the characters cute but not too much so. Her illustrations do a terrific job summing up the key moments of the movie, creating a rich picture of what happens in the film in only 40 pages. Of course, it’s simplified, but the target audience is kids aged 4-8, so that’s appropriate. (The publisher provided a review copy.)