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Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 5, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6 This book introduces senryu, a Japanese verse form that can involve the evasive, the punny, the parodic, and the slapstick. As the back cover explains, What is a senryu?/A funny poem that is/Almost haiku-ckoo. On the title page, readers find a youngster in pursuit of a renegade ball (a metaphor for the poetic style). It takes the boy down a ladder, below ground to a wacky parallel universe where everything familiar is turned upside down. As the chase continues, a series of delightful poems describes this strange world. The highly spirited verses feature witty wordplay and puns: My older sister/gets a complete makeover /very mascary! or On Ferris wheel/I regret French fries, milk shake /those below agree. Finally, the ball disappears into a giant poet-tree. A few of the offerings may not have the same layered meaning for youngsters as they do for adults; for example, an insect photographer introduces himself as a shutterbug. Still, this book fulfills its purpose to revive and invigorate the language, and does so with humor. In her ink-and-watercolor cartoons, Tusa uses a soft palette, strong lines, and abundant white space to define the comical characters. Her artwork is a marvelous vehicle to increase children's visual literacy while complementing these zany and memorable verses. A fun choice to pair with Janeczko's A Kick in the Head (Candlewick, 2005). Teresa Pfeifer, Alfred Zanetti Montessori Magnet School, Springfield, MA
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From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. A senryu is similar to a haiku but runs to the witty and tends to be about people rather than nature. Janeczko and Lewis take the concept and turn it into funny, punny pieces that put the play in wordplay. The short poems will find an audience among a wide age range, and in some ways that's a problem. "High school band minus / its tuba player--looking for a substi-toot" will get a chuckle from younger as well as older kids, but "Noah Webster had / no choice except to put / the cart before the horse" demands a more sophisticated reader. Tusa's ink-and-watercolor illustrations, which may remind some readers of David Small's work, mine for the humor--and find it, though a picture of birds depositing droppings on people doesn't add much to clarify "City pigeons chatter / and coo--busybodies / eavesdropping." Children who get the easier bits of verse may stretch themselves to understand the harder ones, but adult help will still be necessary for many. That's fine, because there's lots of fun to be had. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316607312
  • ASIN: B003GAN440
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,544,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Joseph J. Truncale TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My favorite poetry forms are haiku and senryu. I have read, wrote and reviewed numerous books on haiku and senryu. When I saw this hardcover (32 pages, Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku by Paul B. Janeczko and J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Tricia Tusa) book on Amazon I decided to purchased it.

Even though it is a cleverly written book with numerous fully illustrated drawings I was somewhat disappointed. (1) It is obviously aimed at young children, which I should have realized before purchasing it. This is my fault. (2) This book is only 32 pages long, which I guess many young children’s books are only this long. (3) It only had a total of 23 haiku/senryu poems. In spite these complaints I still liked this book when considering the age group this book is aimed at.

As I mentioned previously the illustrations are fantastic and children will love them. Some of the haiku and senryu are very clever and unique. For these reasons I think children will enjoy reading this book. If you are seeking a cleverly written and colorful illustrated book for your children you may want to check out this volume.

Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Zen poem moments: Haiku and Senryu for special occasions).
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