Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hooray for Haiku!

So, full confession.  As an English major, I was not overly fond of poetry.  Now, as a children’s librarian, I really enjoy it.  Since we celebrate poetry in April, I thought I would share some poetry books.  My most favorite book of children’s poetry is in Haiku form so I thought I’d share some Haiku books.

This book was released recently and you can find many professional reviews about it.  Muth describes in his author note the justification for departure from the 5-7-5 syllable structure of traditional haiku.  The first time I read this, I skipped past that note and my brain made no connection that the style was different because it really works.  My favorite poem (and very apt after the winter we just had):

too much TV this winter
my eyes are square
let’s go Out and play

There are wonderful illustrations featuring a familiar character.  This is one for every library that serves children in elementary school.

I can’t quote from this book because it is extremely popular and checked out right now.  Children love books about pets, particularly cats and dogs.  A cat living in a shelter is chosen by a family.  The poems tell the story of the encounter, the adoption, the arrival at the cat’s new home and the adjustment period.  When Won Ton reveals his name at the end of the story, we know that he is happy with his new family. 

And now for my favorite…

Each gloriously illustrated two-page spread features an animal.  The poems are in the form of each animal giving a description of itself.  If you walk over to the 811 shelves in your school or public library, you can find many wonderful Prelustky books.  The man was chosen as the first Children’s Poet Laureate with good reason.  When I read this aloud to students, I like to read the poems without showing the pictures and have the students guess which animal is talking based on the poem.  Can you guess this animal?

Boneless, translucent
We undulate, undulate

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