Growing up in Hong Kong in the 1940s and 1950s, young Bruce Lee had an active mind, boundless energy, and a knack for finding trouble. As he grew older, Bruce also developed an interest in martial art
Growing up in Hong Kong in the 1940s and 1950s, young Bruce Lee had an active mind, boundless energy, and a knack for finding trouble. As he grew older, Bruce also developed an interest in martial arts. He thrived on the grueling training but struggled to understand and apply the principles of gentleness and yielding that the master taught. Only after he set sail for the United States at the age of eighteen did Bruce truly embrace the values of martial arts and discover his own path to inner calm.
Bruce Lee eventually became a pioneer of martial arts cinema, and his legacy lives on in popular culture. In Be Water, My Friend, his boyhood journey toward self-discovery and his courage to overcome obstacles will inspire all who search for their way in the world today.
View Description for teachers/educators
Original Art Show
Society of Illustrators
Original Art Traveling Exhibition
Society of Illustrators
Grades 1 - 6
Grades 3 - 4
Asian/Asian American Interest, Biography, Dreams & Aspirations, Overcoming Obstacles, Sports
View Review text
"This picture-book biography is a gentle tribute to a martial-arts legend... The brown-and-white illustrations, scratched through beeswax melted over acrylic on paper, are lovely and play an important role in moving the narrative along."
School Library Journal
"Focusing on the childhood and youth of Bruce Lee, this biographical picture book portrays him as a boy who made mistakes, but learned from them. Growing up in Hong Kong in the 1940s and 1950s, Lee dreamed of becoming a film star and had little use for school. He took up martial arts and, though initially drawn more to its combat than its philosophy, he slowly began to understand the finer points of the discipline. When his fighting temper led to trouble with the police at age 18, his parents sent him to San Francisco for a fresh start. The book's final page, 'The Rest of Bruce Lee's Story,' summarizes the remainder of his life. By the author and illustrator of Baseball Saved Us (1993), this distinctive-looking book offers a smoothly written text and many handsome, textured acrylic paintings done in tones of brown and cream acrylic paints. With its sophisticated look and high-interest topic, this picture book has appeal for readers across a broad age range."
"Lee looks rather nerdy in his early years, which will no doubt lend appeal."
View Biographical note
Ken Mochizuki is the award-winning author of numerous books for children for LEE & LOW (see full list to the right). Mr. Mochizuki lives with his wife in Seattle, Washington, where he lives and teaches and writes children's books and gives presentations about his work full time.
Dom Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. With his unique style of art combining techniques of painting and scratching details in encaustic wax, Lee has illustrated many award-winning picture books for children for LEE & LOW. He lives with his wife and children in Demarest, New Jersey. To find out more about Dom Lee, visit www.domandk.com