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Be Water, My Friend by Ken Mochizuki

Be Water, My Friend

by Ken Mochizuki

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The biography of Bruce Lee emphasized the importance of identifying our mistakes and learning from them to become a better person. I enjoyed the author’s use of illustration and dialogue to emphasize the theme of the story, but the organization and flow of the book were at times choppy. For example, on one page we learn Bruce Lee finally understands what his master means by “martial arts has a gentleness,” but on the next page we get a complete shift to Bruce Lee accepting a boxing challenge at his school. There was no flow from the previous page to the next and the connection to “gentleness” and boxing weren’t implied. Other than that, the author used illustration and dialogue strategically. Rather than just narrating from an author’s perspective, the author decides to add dialogue to an important moment in Bruce Lee’s life. For example, we get a sense of wisdom from the master when he states “There are such things as harmony and yielding in martial arts…. Big branches of a tree snap under the weight of snow, while weaker and suppler reeds bend and survive.” We also see a reinforcement of that dialogue in the illustration showing the master holding a branch and demonstrating to Bruce Lee its flexibility. Throughout the book, the author includes illustrations of Bruce Lee’s important life lessons, such as an illustration of him cupping water in his hand and realizing the meaning of gentleness and using an opponent’s energy against them. ( )
  thodge3 | Feb 23, 2017 |
This story is the biography of Bruce Lee. You learn a lot about Bruce Lee that you would have never guessed or known about his history and the meaning of martial arts. I enjoyed learning about his background and the life that he experienced. This book's illustrations are different because they are sepia colored pictures, follows the cover of the book. What is nice and different about this book is in the back of the book there are summaries of the rest of Bruce Lee's life that wasn't written about in the book since the book was his early years. The summaries are 5 year intervals summing up pretty much everything he ever did! I personally am not a fan of biographies unless I am interested in learning about the person. I would only recommend this book to someone who is interested in biographies and Bruce Lee or looking for new ways to present information and illustrations.
  lfasce1 | Dec 1, 2014 |
Be Water, My Friend
Bryan O'Keeffe

I really enjoyed reading this book, part of it has to do with my love for Bruce Lee. This book was very interesting, mostly because I did not know a lot about Bruce Lee as a young person. I had no problem believing that Bruce Lee was an actual character, mostly because he was a real person. I did like the fact that the plot was super interesting and really descriptive. Even without the illustrations I would have been easily able to picture the story in my head. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Bruce Lee in the plot as a struggling child, one who was not greatly disciplined. I like how that played into the plot with Bruce Lee not being able to master the art of karate really well. The way the illustrations were done were absolutely amazing. There were only browns and blacks and nothing else. The pen and paper aspect really gave the story and old timey feel and one that felt that it was really set in China. I really enjoyed that because that made the book feel more authentic and not made up. I really liked how the message was conveyed throughout the book as well; keep on trying and don't ever give up. ( )
  bokeef2 | Nov 19, 2014 |
This book has been a favorite since I purchased a copy at TLA two years ago. It accurately describes Bruce Lee's search for a means of controlling his raging temper and his efforts to lift himself above the world of street gangs. This search led him to martial arts. Be Water, Be My Friend is a concise, non sentimental tribute to Bruce Lee.
  carolynlove | Mar 15, 2010 |
A biography of Bruce Lee focusing on his early years in Hong Kong, where he discovered martial arts and began developing the physical and mental skills that led to his career as a legendary martial artist and film star.
  prkcs | Apr 24, 2007 |
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"A biography of Bruce Lee focusing on his early years in Hong Kong, where he discovered martial arts and began developing the physical and mental skills that led to his career as a legendary martial artist and film star"--Provided by publisher.

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