Won Ton and Chopstick – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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wonTitle: Won Ton and Chopstick – A Cat and Dog tale Told in Haiku

Written by: Lee Wardlaw

Illustrated by: Eugene Yelchin

Published by: Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2015

Themes/Topics: cats, dogs, haiku, pets, friends

Suitable for ages: 7-11

Hardcover, 40 pages


It’s a fine life, Boy.
Nap, play, bathe, nap eat, repeat.
Practice makes purrfect.


Won Ton has a happy life with his Boy, until…                                                                       Ears perk. Fur prickles.                                                                                                          Belly low, I creep…peek…FREEZE!                                                                                       My eyes full of Doom.                                                                                                                 A new puppy arrives, and nothing will be the same.Told entirely in haiku and with plenty of catitude, the story of how Won Ton faces down the enemy is a fresh and funny twist on a familiar rivalry. (Goodreads summary)

Why I like This Book:

It is fun to see Won Ton in the second in this series, so well-established with her boy-owner, well until the household decides to increase by one puppy. The text and illustrations are full of fun and make this a very fluent read, and one I immediately wanted to reread to appreciate the poetic form further. The puppy and cat characterization are spot on and the haiku strong!

It is a good addition to the many wonderful picture books about unexpected friendships and very authentic about how a cat warms up slowly to the presence of a new dog, especially a shelf cat such as Won-Ton, who knows what its like to be caged and then the only pet of an adoring child!

I especially love how goofy Yelchin has made the puppy illustrations.


Great mentor text for the haiku poetic form (can be coupled with the prequel, Won Ton) and has a ton of great vocabulary.

I would match this with GUYKU which I reviewed here, in any unit teaching haiku. Haiku is hard to do well but simple in form and therefor a form I like to start to teach with 2nd graders.

Kidspot has a simple starter page for teaching haiku to young children.

Lee Wardlaw has a great teacher’s guide on her website for Won Ton and Chop Stick, written by Marcie Colleen.

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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11 Responses to Won Ton and Chopstick – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. I love Won Ton. Will definitely have to read this new book!

  2. Clarbojahn says:

    This book intrigues me in that I do not seem to pick up books told in verse. Th is seems so difficult I don’t even stretch myself to read them and this must be fixed right away. I am putting this book on hold at my library right now. 🙂

  3. What a great share. The book sounds humorous, but I really like the idea of teaching young children the haiku form. It really works well in this book. And, I enjoyed it Guyku, another fun book.

  4. I love haiku and the “catitude”! Nice post!

  5. Wendy Greenley says:

    I loved the first Won Ton book. What a great name for a character! Thanks for sharing this one.

  6. I loved Won Ton and couldn’t wait for this one. Lee Wardlaw is amazing! Thinking of writing a picture book in haiku is daunting. It seems to strict. But she does it with charm!

  7. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    I agree. I love these books! The haiku and illustrations are wonderful!

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