TRC Read to Kids

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More ways to share poetry

Poetry works so well with kids; its brevity, vivid images, rhythm and emphasis on sound make it kid-friendly and useful with a wide range of ages.  

In our last blog post, poet and author Mary Quattlebaum suggested several general books of poetry for reading with kids from the toddler years through the preteen years. In this post, we focus on haiku, that familiar three-line, 17-syllable form that originated in Japan.  Its short lines and striking sounds and images are just right for kids. Here is a selection of books of haiku we especially like. The books are widely available in local libraries.    

Yum! MmMm! Que Rico! America's Sproutings by Pat Mora, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

A luscious collection of haiku celebrating foods native to the Americas, this book would do well accompanied by a snack of peanut butter sandwiches, blueberries, pineapple, or any of the other foods described in the poems. The pages combine whimsical illustrations with a short description of the fruit/vegetable's history in the western hemisphere. 

Round roly-poly
squirts seedy, juicy splatter,
Red bursts in your mouth. 

Won Ton:  A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

A clever and endearing cat tells the story of his adoption from a shelter using a sequence of haiku. 

"The Shelter"
Nice place they got here.
Bed. Bowl, Blankie. Just like home!
Or so I've been told.  

Hi, Koo!  A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth

Hi, Koo! is the latest of Jon Muth's Zen panda series (Zen Shorts, Zen Ties, etc.). In this book, Muth presents poems and paintings on the seasons of the year, which is one of haiku's traditional subjects. Muth's lovely paintings of the young panda and three young human friends provide essential context for the poems and make this book a keeper.

Reading aloud
a favorite book
an audience of sparrows

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