GUYKU, A Year of Haiku for Boys – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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guykuTitle: GUYKU A Year of Haiku for Boys

Written by: Bob Raczeka

Illustrated by: Peter Reynolds

Published by: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, New York, 2010

Themes/Topics: seasons, poetry, haiku, nature

Suitable for ages: 4-8


The wind and I play                                                                                                               tug-of-war with my kite.                                                                                                         The wind is winning.


A nature-infused stream of present tense playful, reflective haiku that tug you through the seasons and their unexpected and expected playgrounds for boys. Alternating between one haiku and one illustration or two haiku and two illustrations on each double-paged spread.

Why I like This Book:

This book is an invitation to play, to create, to be poetic, to reflect to go outside. Reynolds’ characteristic whimsical two boys (diverse, but this is by the by) animate the beautiful poetry with scenes of old fashioned, universal childhood fun.

While I think the title is very clever and catchy, I think in a way it does a disservice to this beautiful book as the message and content is as much for girls as boys!

The haiku follow the 7, 5, 7 syllable tradition and are pitch perfect. My favorite is one of the spring poems:

If this puddle could                                                                                                               talk, I think it would tell me                                                                                                      to splash my sister


I would definitely use this as a mentor text for teaching a class haiku!

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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23 Responses to GUYKU, A Year of Haiku for Boys – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. What a lovely idea for a picture book. I think it would be a great way to encourage children to write a short Haiku and draw a picture. What a great choice today!

  2. I agree about the title, but it’s all about marketing, I suppose. Nevertheless, the poems you shared and (of course) the art make this one book I’ll be eager to get my hands on. Thanks!

  3. :Donna says:

    I LOVE this book! (As I love anything Peter Reynolds gets his hands on! lol) I think it’s just perfect 🙂

  4. Wendy Greenley says:

    Silly and a bit sad that society has kids thinking boy/girl things while still in elementary school but if the title gets more boys reading poetry, then it’s a great one!

  5. barb says:

    What a fabulous book! You’re right, this would be amazing as a class mentor book. I’m off to see if my library has it. Thanks!

  6. I’m voting with Donna – Peter’s touch to a book is magical! Lovely choice Joanna.

  7. rhythm says:

    GUYku! I have a book called DOGku! Where’s the GIRLku? This one looks cute – and you can’t go wrong with Mr Reynolds, for sure!

  8. I love the title… you just know you’re in for fun and hijinks with this poetry.

  9. A perfect book as spring feels around the corner. 🙂 I don’t recall reading this one yet. I’ll check my library.

  10. Joyce Tucker says:

    LOVE poetry…Will be reading this one very soon. Library card is full 🙂

  11. Pingback: Won Ton and Chopstick – Perfect Picture Book Friday | Miss Marple's Musings

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