Guess Who, Haiku
Most children are fascinated by animals. Most kids enjoy
riddles. In Deana Caswell and Bob Shea's Guess Who, Haiku these
interests are used to introduce young readers to a fascinating style
of Japanese poetry.
The book consists of a series of two page spreads. On the right
hand page is a lively haiku about a critter. The child reader is
encouraged to guess its identity before flipping the page to see a
charming picture of the described creature.
My favorite of the haikus reads as follows:
"full belly purring
whiskers frame milk-scented yawns
beloved stuffed pet"
A ball of yarn at the bottom of the page gives a visual clue. Flip
the page and you see an adorable big eyed kitten.
Guess, Who, Haiku is a wonderful investment for a teacher or
youth group leader. Reading the book is only the start of the fun.
Children can be encouraged, singly or in small groups, to make their
own haiku books and share them with younger kids or present them to
proud parents at an authors tea.
In today's schools, where there is often too much pressure to
teach to the test, too often poetry is left to an age where students
greet its introduction with anything but unmitigated joy. Younger
students who haven't discovered its potential peer uncoolness or
developed caution around self expression and trying new things are in
a great position to make this spirited writing genre their own.
On a personal note, after I went to the customer appreciation day the
farmers market put on I was walking to the bus stop to go home and
work. Only one of my international friends asked if I was coming to
their barbecue. Faced with the choice of good food and friends to
chill with at a lovely riverside location or dishes and laundry I was
only too happy to opt for the former. What a night it was!
A great big shout out to our international students who so enrich the
UMaine community by dwelling among us and sharing their heritages.
Sent from my iPod