John Fusco is an award-winning screenwriter with ten major movies to his credit, including "Young Guns," "Hidalgo," "The Forbidden Kingdom," and the Academy Award-nominated animated film "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron." An avid martial artist, he began studying Tang Soo Do at 12 years old and currently holds a black belt in Northern Shaolin Praying Mantis Kung Fu. He lives with his wife and son in Northern Vermont.
Patrick Lugo was the Art Director for Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine for 15 years, where he created the long running comic strip 'Tiger's Tale' which is currently slated for development as a graphic novel. He resides on Alameda Island in the San Francisco Bay.
"This is a charming rendering of an ancient legend and will appeal to those who enjoy martial arts, myths and legends, or just a good story. A recommended read!" --City Book Review
"Appealing to both folktale and martial-arts fans, Fusco's work highlights the fighting skills learned from nature but stresses how rarely and reluctantly the monks used them. Young readers will enjoy Lugo's paintings of the fight scenes, but his work truly shines when portraying the praying mantis." --School Library Journal
"With illustrator Patrick Lugo's colorful, energetic paintings, author John Fusco has brought to life an inspiring tale. To paraphrase the teachings of one of the monks in the book, Fusco's story has good Kung Fu." --Peter Laird, co-creator "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
"Although presented as a story for young readers, Little Monk and the Mantis is the kind of book that will delight anyone interested in the teachings at the heart of the martial arts. It's truly a lesson story of the best sort, one that is as entertaining as it is wise." --Joseph Bruchac, Our Stories Remember
"Engaging and knowledgeable...brings magical light and clarity to veiled martial arts history. In a cocoon shell, a man 'tis not a mantis til Fusco's faithful rendering of true life hero Wong Long bugs the Shaolin elders into accepting the teachings and virtues of the world's most dynamic insect...the praying mantis." --Dr. Craig D. Reid, Martial Arts Historian
"Little Monk and the Mantis invites children to experience the peaceful teachings at the heart of Martial Arts. With careful attention to detail, John Fusco's passion for eastern philosophy and historical teachings comes shining through in this tale of perseverance and self-discovery. Children will be enthralled by the masterful storytelling and energetic illustrations that transports readers to another time and place." --Gelett Burgess Center Children's Book Awards (Book of the Year Honor)
"The book Little Monk and the Mantis is a thrilling tale from Hollywood screenwriter John Fusco of one boy's search for self-expression, courage and the peaceful, nonviolent teachings at the root of true martial arts. This book is accompanied by beautiful art illustration by Patrick Lugo, who is art director for Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine." --Huffington Post
"This is a must read for anyone who likes Kung Fu, even if it's just the Kung Fu Panda movies!" --Pragmatic Mom Blog