Dewey: B LEE
Be Water, My Friend: the early years of Bruce Lee by Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee, Lee&Low, 2006
Ken Mochizuki and Dom Lee have teamed once again, this time, to tell the childhood story of martial arts master, Bruce Lee. In the author's note, Mochizuki acknowledges that parts, his story were "extentions of the facts, based on the author's knowledge of the times and circumstances of Lee's life." Because he makes this clear, I feel more comfortable with the "recreated" dialog and storyline presented.
The known facts from his appearances in movies as a child and his early training in martial arts are included. The book ends with Bruce sailing for the USA to avoid further entanglements with gangs and his own propensity for fighting.
The rest of his story is told in an after word. His struggles in the American film industry and his success in the Hong Kong movie business are chronicled as is his untimely death at the age of 32.
The author also notes that the title of the book is a quote from Lee, himself.
Dom Lee's distinctive sepia tone paintings evoke instant authenticity in every book he illustrates. He uses encaustic beeswax painting to achieve this effect. His style advances the story with panels to convey action sequences and more reflective single pictures that extend beyond the confines of one page. His research into period clothing and settings is astonishing. Truly, his paintings allow readers a look back in time.