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In Celebration of International Haiku Poetry Day

H is for Haiku written by Sydell Rosenberg and illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi, published by Penny Candy Books.

My review, the short version:

Colorful book art

Playful words, short sentences

Joy on every page

My review, the long version:

Haiku is one of the first poetic forms children learn. It's short and sweet. But the challenge (and fun) is keeping within the syllable count... more or less. As noted in the Dear Reader letter from the late author's daughter, Amy Losak, haiku usually consist of three lines, the first with five syllables, the second with seven syllables, and the third with five syllables. However, many haiku poets, including Sydell Rosenberg, don't always strictly adhere to this rule. But that doesn't make it any less impressive. Like most things in life, the simpler something appears means the harder it was to create.

H is for Haiku is a clever book of poetry presented as an ABC book of various scenes that most people walk by without noticing. On a trip around New York City, the author points out to the reader the smallest details that are, in and of themselves, huge moments that can enrich our souls every day with joy and wonder.

Sawsan Chalabi's playful images of a diverse community invite every child to see themselves and each other. Her color palette and lettering is reminiscent of vintage story books.

Imagine It!

Do you have a favorite letter? Maybe it's the first letter of your name or your pet's name.

Imagine as many words as you can that start with that letter. Which word is your favorite? Is it silly, serious, or colorful?

Imagine three lines that could further describe or give action to your word. Try to count the syllables -- 5 in the first, 7 in the second, and 5 again in the third. It's ok if it's not a perfect count. Have fun!

Need more inspiration? Before writing your three lines, take a walk outside or through your school or in any other favorite place. With the letter and word you chose, imagine a poem inspired by something you see. It's ok if you find something that sparks an idea with a different letter or word. Have fun!

If you have decided on a moment, but aren't ready to write or are still searching for words, draw a picture of it, color it, add details... then write down all the words that come to mind.

Observing the world around us, the interesting details and small actions of our friends, people on the street, our pets, even the slight movement of a flower petal can arouse feelings of awe and joy.

Imagine being a haiku poet!

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