No longer the bone-thin, nearly bald little dog he used to be, the strong and powerful Tae Kwon Dog, or Master, shares the skills and philosophy of his martial art with other dogs who doubt themselves and need to find courage, confidence, and self-assertion. Artfully written by Diane DiRoberto, “Tae Kwon Dog: The Power Within” is the first title in this fun middle-grade series that explores topics of self-esteem, kindness, bullying and teamwork.
In a current time where dogs are able to communicate with humans and have become respected members and leaders of society, Tae Kwon Dog, or the Master, spends his days teaching Tae Kwon Do, a martial art that is part self-defense and part sport, yet also a form of artistic expression.
The Master is at a local park and observes a meek and quiet dog named Max attempting to enjoy a park picnic with his owner, Dan. But the two are being harassed by a pair of menacing Rottweilers, two brothers named Rufus and Squeaky Ratwailer, and the Master scares the bullying dogs away by showing his brute strength, crushing a nearby boulder with his paw. Dan and Max are grateful and are told by the Master to send the shy dog over to his dojang to learn how to defend himself.
Unbeknownst to Max, the Master also seeks out the Ratwailer brothers and invites them to his dojang as well. He is aware that they act like bullies because they know they are feared due to the way that they look. The Master knows that the five tenets of Tae Kwon Do will benefit the unruly duo: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. The brothers agree to train at the dojang only if the Master will reveal his special power to them, the one that gives him such strength.
Max isn’t thrilled when he shows up to the dojang and sees the Ratwailers there, and the brothers then enjoy playing pranks on the anxious Max. The Master sees their behavior but rather than call attention to it, he wants Max to learn how to stand up to the brothers himself.
Tae Kwon Do doesn’t come easy for Max, like it does for the Ratwailers, but he dedicates himself to learning the martial art and incorporating its creed into his daily life.
“I intend to develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth or my physical health. I intend to develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others. I intend to use what I learn in class to help myself and others and never be hurtful or aggressive.”
After some unusual and unexplained surprises occur to the students, over time they come to support each other, even being glad at each other’s successes. This is a feeling that is unfamiliar to the Ratwailer brothers, and they find that other positive behaviors have begun to influence them. They learn that feeling good about doing good feels better than lying, stealing, or bullying others. Squeaky, Rufus and Max realize that Tae Kwon Do isn’t just about physical strength, it’s about one’s own power within, the one that has been there all along.
Published author Diane DiRoberto expertly weaves a story that not only is a fun and entertaining tale of talking dogs who are a regular part of our society, but also threads in the principles of Tae Kwon Do and its philosophy for life. The back of the book contains an extensive glossary outlining Tae Kwon Dog’s guide to words, terms and characters within the story. “Tae Kwon Dog: The Power Within” is the first volume in this middle-grade series and features whimsical spot art throughout.
If you would like more information about author Diane DiRoberto and “Tae Kwon Dog: The Power Within,” please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://taekwondogbooks.com/about-1.