Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 10, 2022

Book Giveaway: THE RISE (AND FALLS) OF JACKIE CHAN by Kristen Mai Giang

Kristen Mai Giang has a new picture book, THE RISE (AND FALLS) OF JACKIE CHAN illustrated by Alina Chau and published by Crown Books for Young Readers. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

All you have to do to get in the running is 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 other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Kristen and Alina.

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. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments By Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

An action-packed picture book biography about Hollywood actor, stuntman, and beloved superstar Jackie Chan! A great read for Chan fans hoping to share their love of Rush Hour, Supercop, and Jackie’s original brand of martial arts with their ready-to-tumble tyke.

Pow! Bam! Wow!

Jackie Chan has been making movies and amazing audiences with his original and comedic stunts for decades.

Pow! Bam! Ow!

But before he was an international star, Jackie grew up in relative poverty in China, studied martial arts at the grueling China Drama Academy, and worked for years trying to find his way in film.

Pow! Bam! How?

Twist, tumble, and train alongside martial arts hero Jackie Chan in this picture book biography from lauded author Kristen Mai Giang and illustrator and Hong Kong native Alina Chau. Discover how Jackie used his goofball acrobatics to make a name and a style all his own.

 

BOOK JOURNEY:

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Kathy! I grew up watching Jackie Chan movies and have been a lifelong fan. My mom used to pack all six of us kids (I was number five) into the Chinese movie theater in San Gabriel, California, where we would watch double-features from Hong Kong. I didn’t realize it until much later, but I was getting the Asian representation in movies that I wasn’t getting elsewhere in American movies. This is where we saw Asian leads and heroes. Roles we could aspire to and be inspired by.

But I wasn’t inspired to attempt a nonfiction PB bio (this is my first) until I stumbled across a fascinating fact. Before he became a global action star, Jackie Chan was classically trained in Peking Opera – and that is in fact how he got his start in performing arts. This seemed so contrary to my idea of him as a martial arts comedian famous for stunts and slapstick that I had to learn more.

The more I researched, the more I realized how multidimensional Jackie’s story was, with so many more layers than I knew. For instance, you might be surprised to learn that some of his biggest influences were classical Hollywood icons Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Fred Astaire. The more multidimensional stories there are out there – especially for people of color – the better. Moving beyond the single story, the idea of people as a single type – a stereotype – is humanizing. And truly, Jackie Chan’s rise to fame (and falls along the way) is universally relatable.

For much of his life, in fact, Jackie Chan was considered a failure. He didn’t do well in school. He was very poor and consigned to the China Drama Academy for years while his parents left China for work. When he started out in movies, everyone wanted him to be the next Bruce Lee, and he just wasn’t. It wasn’t until Jackie Chan embraced his own vision, his own strengths that he basically invented kung fu comedy and became a global superstar.

Part of the fun of researching and writing this book was re-watching Jackie Chan movies with my kids. Watching them laugh and jump around reminded me of what drew me and so many others to him. I tried to infuse the text with this same action, energy, and humor using onomatopoeia (POW! BAM! OW!) and shorter sentences (“made funny faces, faked falling over and over). I hope Jackie Chan’s brand of humor and heart will come through to readers.

After all the research I had done, the writing came surprisingly easily. The key was that I had zeroed in on the Big Idea, which is so important when trying to capture a life story in a brief PB bio. For Jackie Chan, it was the idea of how being true to himself ultimately led to his unprecedented success. Once I knew this, I was able to winnow the book down to only those pieces that told that story. I was agented when I wrote this – and had already sold my first picture book GINGER & CHRYSANTHEMUM to Levine Querido. My agent at the time, Barry Goldblatt, found the perfect home for the Jackie Chan PB Bio with Phoebe Yeh at Crown Books for Young Readers. She has long championed books from under-represented and own voices, so it was wonderful to work with her on this. She edited the book beautifully. We went through a few rounds of revisions, including deciding to add a Cantonese / Mandarin glossary to the back matter. We also partnered on the work of having all the Cantonese and Mandarin reviewed by fluent speakers.

I didn’t choose the illustrator – that is usually at the discretion of the editor and publishing house, but it was a dream to have Alina Chau illustrate this book. Not only did she bring movement to every single spread, she captured the Hong Kong of Jackie Chan’s (and her) childhood as only a Hong Kong native could. Her hand-painted Chinese calligraphy, research, and cultural details add even more dimensions to our multidimensional book. I hope you all enjoy it!

KRISTEN MAI GIANG BIO:

Kristen Mai Giang is the author of picture books GINGER AND CHRYSANTHEMUM and THE RISE (AND FALLS) OF JACKIE CHAN, with more on the way. When not writing, Kristen has spent the past two decades creating Emmy Award-winning kids interactive content for Disney, PBS Kids Sprout, and Mattel, among others. She is currently developing a K-5 podcast-based interactive learning platform funded by the National Science Foundation.

@kmgiang on IG and Twitter. https://kristenmaigiang.com/.

ALINA CHAU BIO:

Alina Chau 周曉芬 is an award-winning filmmaker and artist. Her credits include the Emmy Award-winning Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, and numerous best-selling games. She illustrated The Nian Monster, which received the 2018 APALA Picture Book Honor.

Having grown up in Hong Kong in an Indonesian-Chinese family during the British colonial era, her creative vision is strongly influenced by a diverse mix of cultures. She finds inspiration in her grandmother’s stories, colorful sarongs, and delicate wooden sculptures from Southeast Asia, as well as in the aroma of stinky tofu, and the sound of Hong Kong tram bells chiming. Alina’s unique cultural heritage strongly influences her artistic and storytelling voice. Her whimsical illustration style is highly sought after for art exhibitions worldwide. Her lyrical watercolors have garnered her a devoted fan base and the accolades of her peers.

She is represented by Marietta B. Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.

Kristin, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. Love that you thought to share Jackie Chan with today’s children. With all the action packed wonderful illustrations that Alina created for this book, kids will gobble up this book. I am sure parents will treasure it, too. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. I’ve always admired Jackie Chan, can’t wait to read about him! Congrats! Looks amazing!

    Like

  2. Fun to read more about Kristen and Alina’s new book…it’s a fascinating story!

    Like

  3. sounds great and i’m a fan of jackie –

    Like

  4. My students would love this books! (Me, too!)

    Like

  5. Having seen many of his movies, I’m intrigued by your story about him, Kristen. Congratulations to you and Alina!

    Like

  6. I saw this one last week and can’t wait to read it! Thank you for sharing. I love getting your updates in my inbox!

    Like

  7. Oh, this looks fascinating! I love the movement and the attention to details. And Jackie Chan! An icon! Congratulations!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post, Kathy. 🙂

    Like

  8. AWEsome!

    Like

  9. Jackie Chan was quite an amazing guy. I never really knew much about him until after his death but he sounds fascinating. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book.
    I’ve shared: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772163051033/, and tweeted: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1524063590470279168.
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great week!

    Like

  10. Congrats, Kristen & Alina! Can’t wait to read this book. (I’m signed up for the emails, too.)

    Like

  11. This sounds like a great book! The readers in my library would love to read about Jackie Chan.

    Like

  12. You have uncovered such a cool story about a multidimensional man. Thank you for writing this.

    Like

  13. This looks like such fun!

    Like


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