Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 22, 2019

Book Giveaway: KARATE KID by Rosanne Kurstedt

Rosanne L. Kurstedt, Ph.D. has a new picture book titled, KARATE KID. Mark Chambers created the fun illustrations. It is being published by Running Kids Press and will hit the book shelves on September 3rd.

Rosanne has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Rosanne and Mark!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Gain mindfulness, focus, and inner strength while learning karate moves with a goat kid!

A goat kid loves to do karate! And he is sure to inspire young kids to try karate as well. Follow Goat as he goes through the major stances and karate moves, teaching readers to channel focus and strength through each pose. Karate Kid‘s simple, measured, and meditative text is complemented by playful yet instructive illustrations by Mark Chambers to teach youngsters how to get involved in karate–and to have fun while doing so, too.


Thank you, Kathy, for letting me share KARATE KID’s book journey. It has not been the usual path for sure. In early 2018 my agent, Liza Fleissig, sent a manuscript to Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids. Julie loved the manuscript and brought it to an acquisitions meeting. The feedback from the acquisitions meeting was extremely positive. They liked my writing style and the message of the book—that of mindfulness—and that the character was able to solve the problem on her own. In the end they passed, but Julie, asked my agent if I’d be interested in writing a manuscript about a boy who does Karate.  “Of course, I’d be interested,” I promptly replied. I did ask if it could be about Taekwondo because I’m actually a brown belt.

While I was working on the new manuscript, Julie reached out to my agent again. Running Press Kids had a book YOGA FROG that was doing really well.  They wanted to do a second book. Julie asked, if I’d be interested in writing it. “Of course,” I promptly replied, “thank you for asking.”  The second book, KARATE KID, was born.

After some back and forth, I got to work. I used YOGA FROG as a model and began researching. I went to the library, scoured the internet, and also reached out to a Sensei. Like I said, I had done Taekwando, but Karate is different, so I knew I had to do my research.

First, I needed to choose which techniques to include and how to organize them. There were so many, how could I narrow it down? That’s when I got the idea to think about the manuscript in sections: Stances, Kicks, Strikes/Punches, and Blocks. I could have four moves per section which would be 16 spreads or 32 pages (the book, like YOGA FROG, was going to be 40 pages).

I knew I wanted to include Katas so that was another spread.

Finally, I wanted to include a context, so I set the book in a Dojo, a Karate school, where KARATE KID would go to class. Two more spreads, one for the beginning of the class and one at the end. And that’s how I planned the book. Usually, I write my manuscripts and then work on the pagination. This time, I worked on the structure first so that was certainly new for me.

Once I knew which techniques I wanted to include, I wrote out how I would teach someone to do the move. Then I cut words to get at the essence of each move, also including adjectives that denoted the heart of the move and karate. You see, I knew I wanted to highlight and weave the tenets of Karate—confidence, respect, and focus— into the book so I did that with the rhythm and word choice.

When I thought I had accomplished that, I sent the manuscript to Julie. She and I went back and forth a few times, fine tuning the text. Once it was finalized, Mark Chambers, the illustrator, began illustrating Karate Kid implementing the different techniques. Julie and Mark shared the sketches with me, so I was able to see the development, which was super exciting.

In February, almost a year after the interest in the initial manuscript I received the folded and gathered copy of KARATE KID. In late June, I received an advanced copy of the actual book. A real live copy. I hugged the book and rubbed my hand across the cover. Actually, I still do that—taking in the excitement and realness.

KARATE KID will be on books shelves September 3rd. It’s been an amazing journey thus far and I’m looking forward to what’s to come. #KarateConfidence


Rosanne L. Kurstedt, Ph.D. has been an educator for over 20 years. She’s been an elementary school teacher, staff developer, administrator, adjunct professor, literacy coach, curriculum writer, and most importantly an advocate for children and teachers. She is a co-author of Teaching Writing with Picture Books as Models (Scholastic, 2000) and author of the 100+ Growth Mindset Comments series (Newmark Learning, 2019) for grades K-6. She is currently the Associate Director of READ East Harlem/Hunter College and is so excited about the launch of her new picture book KARATE KID (Running Press Kids)—on sale September 3, 2019.

Finally, she is the founder and president of The Author Experience, a 501(c)(3) organization committed to the transformative power of sharing stories. In collaboration with students, families and educators, The Author Experience provides sustainable experiences that build a culture of literacy—one that elevates connections and delivers lasting impact. Please check us out at and become a part of the story!

Rosanne can be found on Twitter and Instagram @rlkurstedt and on Facebook @rlkurstedtauthor.

Thank you Rosanne for sharing your book and it’s journey with us. Parents and kids should love this book. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What fun and mindful books. Thanks so much for sharing! I got a kick out of this post!


  2. Love this story of your book journey Roseanne.


  3. Perfect title! I love the character and the poses. Congratulations! (I follow your blog by email.)


  4. OMG, this is so clever! I can’t wait to get my hands on this one -looks hilarious and adorable!


  5. These books are incredible. What wonderful ideas. Can’t wait to read to my class. Also posting on FB.


  6. Cannot be happier for Rosanne! And excited to hold this book in my hands!! Congratulations to Rosanne and Mark Chambers!!


  7. Looks wonderful Roseann!
    I’m a follower Kathy:)


  8. Yay! Goat Karate (a really good alternative to goat yoga maybe?). My karate kids would have loved this book when they were…. karate Kids. I loved Frog Yoga! Great books Rosanne. Definitely posting this to FB….


  9. Love the back story. My kids are black belts in taekwondo. Love how you did the research to make this story work with the publisher. Congrats!


  10. Love the punny title and concept, Rosanne!


  11. She took such a clean, logical approach, but with artistic results. It looks wonderful.


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