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About Charlene Chua
Charlene Chua is the illustrator of several picture books, including Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, Going Up! and The Pencil. She is also the author-illustrator of Hug?
Charlene was born and grew up in Singapore, and moved to Canada in 2007. When they are not making art, they enjoy cooking, reading, and playing with their cats. She now lives with her husband (and cats!) in Hamilton, Ontario.
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Books By Charlene Chua
Today is Olive’s birthday party, and Sophie and her dad have baked cookies. Sophie’s dad holds the platter so Sophie can push the elevator button for the tenth floor. But on the way up, the elevator stops for the Santucci brothers. Then, for Vicky, Babs, and their dog, Norman. And, as the elevator ascends, more neighbors squeeze in: the Habibs, the Flores family, Mr. Kwan. Everyone’s going to the party!
Such a wonderful, close-knit building — kids will want to move right in!
The festival of lights is here—time to celebrate the New Year!
Diwali has arrived! Rangoli art decorates the floor, and strings of flowers hang around the doors. Now it's time to ring the bells, light the lamps, and welcome the New Year with family and friends. A sweet introduction to the Hindu festival of lights.
After coughing up a hairball, a girl’s cat doesn’t feel well. She gives her cat a hug, which makes the cat feel much better. A dog notices and asks for a hug, too. And then some ducks come along. And a skunk . . . and a bear — and a porcupine! One animal after another asks the girl for a hug until she’s simply had enough. How much more of this can she take?
Sometimes a hug is just what you need. And sometimes, it’s just NOT!
Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Can she rise to the occasion?
Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong.
Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance…Will Amy ever make the perfect bao?
The wind swirls through the farmyard one dark night. It tears around the farmyard, over the meadows, past the pond. It blows so hard and so long that all the animals howl, too. And in the sunny morning, the animals learn that the wind has played tricks on them. Pig goes, "Cluck!" Little Chicks go, “Neigh!” Hens go, “Moo!” Horse goes “Cock-a-Doodle-Dooo!” Cow goes “Quack!” And Rooster—well, Rooster goes, “Cheep!” Can the animals work together to find a solution and get their right voices back?
Our energetic heroine Julie aims for her next martial arts rank - The Belt of Fire! But will a new student get in her way?
This long-awaited sequel to Julie Black Belt: The Kung Fu Chronicles picks up as Julie proudly wears her yellow belt and is eager to attain her next rank: orange! Still inspired by Brandy Wu, an action movie star, Julie now meets a new student in her class...but is he better than her? Can Julie learn to improve her abilities while becoming a gracious partner, and ultimately earning her own Belt of Fire?
It's like when her heroine Brandy Wu in a movie seeks a treasure but must combat a mysterious opponent! Another experienced teacher gives Julie valuable advice, but is Julie brave enough to make this wisdom her own? Artist Charlene Chua’s colorful, action-packed illustrations make Julie’s quest one that any aspiring martial arts practitioner, as well as their parents and instructors, will enjoy.
Children and parents identify with this spunky female star who is willing to give all she’s got. Julie is a fan favorite and young readers make her vivid story their own. Again this is an engaging introduction of martial arts to young children who enroll in after school programs. Inspired by a real girl in a taekwondo class, this story’s lessons are applicable to any martial art, such as karate, ju-jitsu, aikido, judo, and wrestling.
Kung fu means a skill achieved through consistent dedication. But Julie discovers that knowing the correct moves isn’t the most important thing. Teachers appreciate how the story promotes respect, conflict resolution, and self-defense, which in turn improves focus and concentration. Training builds confidence and social skills and improves physical fitness (coordination, balance, posture). Artist Charlene Chua’s vibrant drawings capture Julie’s high-flying action with dynamism and verve.
"With its bright, action-packed cover in super hero style, this book will draw young readers in, especially those interested in martial arts... Girls, especially, may welcome a female protagonist in a kung fu book, but primary boys will most likely enjoy this story as well."
- Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children’s Literature/Media
Can Julie learn kung fu and get her black belt? Real kid power is more inspirational than Kung Fu Panda or The Karate Kid!
When Julie takes a kung fu class, she thinks getting a black belt will be easy. But her bold teacher says guess again! Since practice takes patience, Julie wonders, what would her movie idol Brandy Wu do?
Can Julie take her lessons to heart, and exercise both her mind and body? Then will she develop the self-confidence and discipline necessary to take the Yellow belt test and show her brother, parents, and heroine the true "spirit” of this sport?
Children and parents identify with Julie’s attitude and journey. She is a modern, refreshing character who leads a diverse class and displays authentic girl power. This is an engaging introduction of martial arts to young children who enroll in after school programs. Inspired by a real girl in a taekwondo class, this story’s lessons are applicable to any martial art, such as karate, ju-jitsu, aikido, judo, and wrestling.
Like real youngsters, Julie learns by doing. Teachers appreciate how the story promotes respect, conflict resolution, and self-defense, which in turn improves focus and concentration. Training builds confidence and social skills and improves physical fitness (coordination, balance, posture). Artist Charlene Chua’s vibrant illustrations capture Julie’s high-flying action and her evolving commitment with dynamic energy. The adventures continue in Julie Black Belt: The Belt of Fire!
“Practice makes perfect. That’s what Julie learns in her beginning kung fu class along with lessons about dedication and determination. (She thinks getting a black belt will be a snap.)...a high-action story that encourages deep reflection despite the action movie look.”
- San Francisco Chronicle
The joy of teamwork, friendship and curiosity about the world are at the heart of every Gokul! story.
In this beautifully illustrated first book, learn how Gokul’s fountain discovered its magic and how its magic transforms the lives of the children of Gokul Village. Join six friends - Riya, Dalai, Noelle, Christopher, Zoya, and Jacob, as they work together to restore their beloved fountain and save the day for their annual village New Year’s celebration. Each friend brings a unique talent to the team and in working together, they realize that the fountain, too, has a very special gift to give in return. Find out how six friends set in motion a world of amazing adventures.