Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Capoeira by George Ancona, (Lee&Low, 2007)

When I received this book from Lee & Low I was trying to puzzle out the pronunciation of the title when my entling said, "Are you trying to say 'capoeira,' as in the martial art?"

Yes, how do you know about it?

"Well, in Full Metal Alchemist there was a character..."

Who says you can't learn things from manga and anime?

Well, now that I have read this well designed and beautifully photographed book, I know what capeoira is.
Capoeira--it's a game, a dance, a martial art! For those who play capoeira, it is a way of life.
The history and importance of this art form in Brazilian culture are explained. The language of the capoeira is Portuguese. Drumming, instruments, singing, clapping and acrobatics are all part of this game/martial art.

George Acuna's photography has captured the motion and flow of athletes, sometimes in mid-flight, on the streets of Brazil and the academies in the USA. The students at the Mandinga Academy in Oakland, CA perform for many of the photographs in the book.

Capoeira encourages strength, strategy and discipline and fosters respect for teachers, education and work. This book is an excellent introduction and may intrigue many kids to investigate this art form.

There is a glossary and pronunciations guide at the back as well as a list of online and author sources.

By the way you pronounce it ( kah-poo-AY-rah)

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