From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-For decades, 17-syllable, 3-line Japanese haiku has grown in popularity in America. Janeczko expands its traditional subjects and themes beyond nature and the seasons to encompass the city and its own wonderful scenes. As a result, 20 contributors to this well-designed book looked carefully at city streets, people, and activities to produce enormously appealing selections. Stickball, hard hats, screeching trash trucks, swings, and car washes all are celebrated with powerful and sometimes surprising imagery. High-quality, black-and-white photographs capture the cityscapes consisting of cranes, heaped garbage cans, and assorted scenes that reflect the themes of the haiku. For Silberman, starting with the written poems was a new challenge. "Instead of letting my surroundings guide the subjects of my photographs," he writes in a brief note, "I let the haiku guide me." The design of this small book is balanced and uncluttered, generally featuring one haiku with an accompanying photograph on each page. Students and teachers alike will be drawn to this book again and again.Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Here is an iconoclastic haiku collection that breaks many traditional "rules," as compiler Janeczko admits in his introduction. The poems, written by Nikki Grimes, J. Patrick Lewis, Issa, and less familiar names, do not always follow the standard haiku pattern, yet all follow the spirit of the form. Instead of customary bucolic reflections, the selections reflect urban sights, sounds, and moments. Henri Silberman's black-and-white photographs are stunning. Some of them mirror the poetry so closely, they could have been the poet's inspiration. Wild geese soar above a chimney while the opposite page shows a roof top reflected in a puddle; the sharp angles of a car's tail fin contrast with the soft curves of a cat on an opposite page. This elegant verbal and visual gallery will provoke thought and stimulate creativity as it introduces urban charms to rural children and inspires city kids to recognize natural beauty in their neighborhoods. Linda Perkins