Gr. 4-8. Although this looks like a picture book for young readers, it is actually a comprehensive introduction to haiku that poetry students of many ages can enjoy. Donegan, a poet who lives in Japan, begins by explaining basic concepts (what it means to "look though haiku eyes") before she goes on to describe the seven elements of traditional haiku. The remainder of the book offers haiku projects and exercises, accompanied by lengthy explanations, hints, and even word charts to help children create poems. The somewhat stilted color illustrations may put off older readers, and some exercises contain fill-in-the-blank sections, a format that's not ideal for library circulation. But Donegan presents a great deal of information clearly and with authority, and her enthusiasm for her subject is contagious, particularly when she describes what writing haiku encourages us to do: "see and appreciate the world around us more." A glossary and a haiku resource guide round out this excellent choice for children as well as teachers seeking fresh materials for poetry units. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Patricia Donegan is a poet-translator and a recipient of a Fulbright Foundation grant. Her own works of poetry include Heralding the Milk Light, Without Warning, and Hot Haiku. She is also the author of Chiyo-ni: Woman Haiku Master. She teaches at a university in Tokyo.