cover image Boo! Haiku

Boo! Haiku

Deanna Caswell, illus. by Bob Shea. Abrams Appleseed, $12.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2118-2

Caswell and Shea follow their recent Guess Who, Haiku with another poetry-based guessing game, using haiku to hint at the identities of 10 Halloween standbys. There are some especially lovely haikus in the mix, and they often strike a pleasing balance between evocative language and casual phrasings: a pumpkin is “an orange porch pal/ scooped for pie and roasted seeds/ a candlelit grin,” while a ghost is “footsteps without feet/ woo-ooo-ing in the basement/ heavy chains floating.” Playing inky black against bold shades of olive, mustard, and violet, Shea opts for treats over tricks, creating smiley and wholly unthreatening portraits of witches, spiders, scarecrows, owls, and more. A closing note includes information about the haiku form, including the “element of play” common to many of them and the concept of syllables. Ages 3–5. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)