June 30, 2014
Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth
Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons
by Jon J. Muth
An adorable panda, Koo, leads readers through the alphabet and the seasons in this light, fast flowing alphabet book.
But don’t think you’ve seen it before. This isn’t a flashy book but it quietly, gently sidesteps expectations. Where most books about the seasons start with spring or summer, this one begins with fall.
That’s not all. A is for autum and B is for Broom but Muth shakes things up a bit. Although he follows the alphabet A-Z, the featured word isn’t always the first word in the poem. This results in a more fluid sound when the book is read aloud and also gives the young reader a bit of a challenge in finding the featured word.
This book would make a good bed time or cuddle time book. It holds up well to being read aloud, it is poetry after all, but this isn’t your loud, raucous read aloud.
When you hear the word haiku, you probably think 5-7-5. The first thing that Jon J. Muth does in this fun alphabet book is flip that notion head over heals. In Japanese, haiku consist of 17 sound units, called on. I’m not sure I understand these units myself but one article I read explained that the word on consists of one English syllable and 2 Japanese on.
Muth’s watercolor and ink illustrations are a strong compliment for the forms emphasis on nature, creating images with strong colors that are still gentle in that they don’t hae hard-edged borders.
Share this book with your young poet and have fun writing haiku that deviate from the American norm.