Title: Hi, Koo, A Year of Seasons
By Jon J Muth
Published by Scholastic, 2014, February 25
Themes: seasons, haiku, poetry
Autumn, are you dreaming of new clothes?
An adorable panda bear called Koo, (whom we meet in ZEN TIES) takes us through tender child-centric, subtly alphabetic walk through the four seasons told in haiku poems. A—Autumn, B—Broom… Each page features a haiku and watercolor illustration about a sensorial moment during one of the seasons (dancing in the fall rain a la Gene Kelly, tickling a friend’s ear with a summer violet petal). The special moments in nature and childhood spill though the poems and pages.
Why I like this book:
Muth explains in an author’s note at the beginning of the book that translations from the traditional Japanese seventeen syllable (five-seven-five pattern) for haiku inevitably renders a different number of syllables in English. Like many modern poets, he has not restricted himself to the original pattern, “For me, haiku is like an instant captured in words—using sensory images. At its best, a haiku embodies a moment of emotion that reminds us that our own human nature is not separate from all of nature.”
The same peace and tenderness I came to know in Koo’s uncle’s books (ZEN SHORTS and ZEN TIES) are evident in these lyrical warm pages. Life in its goodness is celebrated. Each scene sparkles. It is a superb introduction to this poetry form and great addition to any class seasons project.
- Video of Hi, Koo
- Great mentor text to teach children the haiku format.
- Kidzone Haiku Lesson
- Seasonal Haiku with Read Write Think
- Haiki Poetry Tips for Grades K-3 with Teacher Vision
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with teaching resources and activities, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.