Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys

Bob Raczka, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds, Houghton Mifflin, $16.99 (54p) ISBN 978-0-547-24003-9
In creating this nostalgic collection of haiku, Raczka (Summer Wonders) cites the form's brevity and its emphasis on nature and the present as reasons why it's "a wonderful form of poetry for guys like us." Categorized (as haiku traditionally are) by season and progressing through the year, his "guyku" poems celebrate the mud of spring, the campfires of summer ("With the ember end/ of my long marshmallow stick,/ I draw on the dark"), the transformation of fall, and the joys of winter, with plenty of giggling thrown in—"Penny on the rail,/ You used to look like Lincoln/ before you got smooshed." Reynolds (The Dot) provides an expressively drawn vignette for each haiku in muted tones of mossy green, sepia, and watery blue. This is childhood as adults remember it, or want to remember it: no flat-screen TVs, no computers, no cars or cellphones. Whether children will recognize their own lives in these wistful visions is not clear, but they will certainly appreciate Raczka's humor: "If this puddle could/ talk, I think it would tell me/ to splash my sister." Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/20/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 48 pages - 978-0-547-76945-5
Hardcover - 44 pages - 978-4-07-276140-3
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