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<<August 2014>>
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: haiku, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,006
1. I Kill the Mockingbird: Review Haiku

Literary civil
disobedience with
my favorite novel.

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora. Roaring Brook, 2014, 192 pages.

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2. Revolution: Review Haiku

Freedom Summer as
you haven't seen it before.
Pair this with Delphine.

Revolution by Deborah Wiles. Scholastic, 2014, 544 pages.

0 Comments on Revolution: Review Haiku as of 8/20/2014 7:51:00 AM
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3. West of the Moon: Review Haiku

Moody and odd, as
only Scandihoovians
can be. Quite a trip.

West of the Moon by Margi Preus. Amulet, 2014, 224 pages.

0 Comments on West of the Moon: Review Haiku as of 8/18/2014 7:13:00 AM
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4. Absolutely Almost: Review Haiku

Oh, Albie - let me
rescue you and Calista.
You can live with me.

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. Philomel, 2014, 304 pages.

0 Comments on Absolutely Almost: Review Haiku as of 8/1/2014 6:40:00 PM
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5. The Fourteenth Goldfish: Review Haiku

Deeper than it looks
and expertly wrought.
Give that fish a sticker, eh?

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm. Random House, 2014, 208 pages.

0 Comments on The Fourteenth Goldfish: Review Haiku as of 8/13/2014 6:20:00 AM
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6. The Great Greene Heist: Review Haiku

Is it creepy that
I want Jackson to be my
boyfriend? Probably.

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson. Scholastic/Levine, 2014, 240 pages.

0 Comments on The Great Greene Heist: Review Haiku as of 8/11/2014 7:09:00 AM
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7. This One Summer: Review Haiku

Transitions and grief
mark a pivotal summer
for two old best friends.

This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. First Second, 2014, 320 pages.

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8. Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done: Review Haiku

Better than its
predecessor, but still -- it
coulda been funnier.

Now Look What You've Done (Timmy Failure #2) by Stephen Patsis. Candlewick, 2014, 288 pages.

0 Comments on Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done: Review Haiku as of 8/6/2014 7:50:00 AM
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9. Hole In My Life: Review Haiku

I know, I'm the last
one to read it -- and yes,
it's really that awesome.

Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos. FSG, 2004, 208 pages.

0 Comments on Hole In My Life: Review Haiku as of 6/6/2014 6:27:00 AM
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10. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: Review Haiku

Proof that books make
anyone a better person . . .

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Workman, 2014, 272 pages.

0 Comments on The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: Review Haiku as of 6/9/2014 10:19:00 AM
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11. What Is It? Haiku

Launch of new series: What Is It?
I’d like to introduce a new series of posts I’m going to be writing called: What Is It?  I’ll be exploring topics related to the world of books and reading as well as taking suggestions from you.

What Is It? Haiku
To kick things off, I’ve decided the first topic in this new series is going to be haiku.  Haiku is a mystery to many devotees of the written word – myself included – so, I’ve gone out into the world to learn more about the mysteriously clever art of haiku and share my findings with you.

Haiku - The Sacred Art by Margaret D. McGee book cover

At a glance:
- Haiku is a word for a specific type of poem and is originally from Japan
- A haiku (poem) contains a specific number of syllables (like a limerick contains a defined number of lines)
- A haiku contains a total of 17 syllables divided into 3 lines
- The first line has 5 syllables, the second has 7, and the third and final line contains 5 syllables
- A haiku doesn’t have to rhyme and most of the time they don’t
- Popular haiku subjects include elements from nature (seasons, animals, plants)

Now that you know a little bit more about what a haiku is, the next step is probably reading some existing work.  A good place to start is by reading Haiku – The Sacred Art: A Spiritual Practice in Three Lines by Margaret D. McGee (pictured above).

Another book to consider is Haiku Mind – 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart by Patricia Donegan. It’s a collection of haiku poems with themes such as honesty, transience and compassion and has a wonderful calming cover just begging the reader to dive in.

If you’ve been inspired by reading some haiku by other authors and feel ready to try your hand at writing one yourself, then Writing and Enjoying Haiku: a Hands-On Guide by Jane Reichhold seems like a good a place as any to start.  You’ll read how haiku can bring a: “centered, calming atmosphere into one’s life, by focusing on the outer realities of life instead of the naggings of the inner mind.”  Sounds perfect doesn’t it?Nerd Haiju by Rob Pearlman book cover

There’s a fantastic sub culture of haiku for nerds, and this one looks like a great collection: Nerd Haiku by author Robb Pearlman.  It contains 200 poems that speak to “core elements of the nerd universe: science fiction, fantasy, comic books, super heroes, big-budget movies, role-playing games, technology, TV series, animation, cosplay, and video games.”

Let me know if you already enjoy haiku, or if you’re delving into this subject matter for the first time.  Have you written a haiku about your love of books? If so, we’d love to read it.  Here’s my attempt, although with much help:

Boomerang Books blog
Prose and opinion combine
Best explored with friends

Suggestions Welcome
Hopefully this new series will cover some interesting topics and inspire you to explore new areas in literature.  Suggestions are very welcome, so please comment below and tell us what you’d like to know more about in the great world of books.

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12. Fly Away: Review Haiku

The master of precision
pens another gem on
family, cows.

Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan. McElderry/S&S, 2014, 128 pages.

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13. Greetings from the Graveyard: Review Haiku

When you care enough
to send the very best.
P.S. It's from a ghost.

Greetings from the Graveyard (43 Old Cemetery Road) by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise. HMH, 2014, 160 pages.

0 Comments on Greetings from the Graveyard: Review Haiku as of 1/1/1900
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14. Back to the Backyard

In a recent blog post, Marion Dane Bauer addressed a topic important to all writers who hope to have their work accepted for publication. “When I begin a new manuscript,” she says, “especially one that will require a major commitment of time, I pause to consider whether what I want to write will be marketable.” In the series of posts that starts today, we Teaching Authors discuss our own experiences with and thoughts about the question of marketability.

For five summers now, I’ve been gathering monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars and raising them in our backyard, protected from predators by a mosquito net tent. Last winter, I finally—finally!—found a way to write about the process in a series of haiku. Sidebars include facts about monarchs and tips for readers who might want to raise them, too. I call the poems “butterflyku” and the collection Butterflyku and Monarch How-To.

Here’s an excerpt:

Searching milkweed leaves,
I find what I’m looking for:
tiny monarch egg!

Five rejections later, I’m facing the prospect that this subject, important as it is to me, might not be acceptable in this form. Although I know that many manuscripts are sold after more than five rejections, I also understand that poetry collections are notoriously tough to sell. So I’m taking a different approach, a narrative nonfiction one that I hope will be more appealing to both editors and readers.

As I organize my thoughts in this new direction, I’m still learning. I attended a symposium last week at the Chicago Botanic Garden with brilliant speakers who elaborated on the urgent issues affecting monarchs today. I soaked up every word, took pages and pages of notes, and collected handouts to study.

To prepare for this year’s monarch project, I started three varieties of milkweed from seeds we collected last fall.

top to bottom: common, whorled, and butterfly milkweed
Now the monarchs are back! Eggs are hatching! Caterpillars are growing! Today's tally includes 4 eggs and 7 caterpillars. I’m heading back outside to keep an eye on the amazing creatures and their awe-inspiring transformation so I can try, try again with a topic that’s not only important but also fascinating and dear to my heart.

Wish me luck!

Don’t forget to enter our current giveaway for a chance to win an autographed copy of Joan Bransfield Graham's new book, The Poem That Will  Not End: Fun with Poetic Forms and Voices!

JoAnn Early Macken

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15. To All the Boys I've Loved Before: Review Haiku

Make-him-jealous trope gets
complicated by
sisterhood, history.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. S&S, 2014, 368 pages.

0 Comments on To All the Boys I've Loved Before: Review Haiku as of 1/1/1900
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16. The Geography of You and Me: Review Haiku

Love in an elevator --
not really. But one heckuva

The Geography of You & Me by Jennifer E. Smith. Poppy, 2014, 352 pages.

0 Comments on The Geography of You and Me: Review Haiku as of 6/18/2014 7:41:00 AM
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17. Attachments: Review Haiku

Once you get over
Y2K as historical
fiction, it's swell.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Plume, 2012, 336 pages.

0 Comments on Attachments: Review Haiku as of 6/20/2014 8:31:00 AM
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18. #592 – If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems by Brian P. Cleary & Andy Rowland


If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems

by Brian P. Cleary

illustrated by Andy Rowland

Millbrook Press           1/1/2014


Age 7 to 10           32 page


“What is a haiku? It sounds like a sneeze. And isn’t a lantern a light source? Actually, they are two types of ancient Japanese poetry. Award-winning author Brian P. Cleary explains how each form works—and shows how these little poems can contain big surprises! If It Rains Pancakes is packed with poems to make you chuckle, puzzle, and ponder. And when you’ve finished reading, you can try your hand at writing your own haiku and lanterns!

“If it rains pancakes,

I’ll need no umbrella, just

syrup, fork, and plate.”


“Haiku is a short, Japanese form of poetry that has been around for more than four hundred years. That’s much longer than your teacher or your parents have been alive.”


I like books that, even though written for a kid, teaches me something. I know a Haiku has 7 syllables in the first line, then 5 in the next, finishing with 7 in the third and final line. Everyone knows that, right? But, did you know that in Japan syllables are not what matters. Maybe they don’t even have syllables. In Japan, they count sounds and each Haiku has 17 sounds known as on (pronounced a faster than normal “one”). That I did not know, until I read If It Rains Pancakes. Traditionally, haikus are about nature, but Mr. Cleary takes liberties with this and writes Haikus on all sorts of kid-subjects: pets, pizza, and pancakes. I also love something else Mr. Cleary wrote,

“Poetry’s not a spectator sport, so try your hand at this ancient form, and be sure to have fun!”

I love fun as much as I love humor, so here is my haiku.


It may rain kittens and pups.

It may rain water.

To be safe, watch where you step.

**I now challenge you to follow Mr. Cleary’s advice and write a haiku or a lantern (see below) in the comment section. I know there are lots of writers, poets, and aspiring writers and poets reading this blog. NOW is the time to show what you have!

Returning to the review: If you don’t like my haiku, Mr. Cleary wrote 20 for you in If It Rains Pancakes. Here are some of the titles, though many will not help you with the subject of the poem. Color Me Confused, City of Brotherly Lunch, The Mind and Yummy. There is one that is helpful to all of us not as poetically inclined as Mr. Cleary is. Kids will want to remember this one for when school resumes—much too soon.


When you’ve written one

without enough syllables,

you add words. Football.

The other half of If It Rains Pancakes is about Lanterns. This is all new to me. A lantern, or lanturne, is also Japanese. This poem has five lines. Line 1 is a 1-syllable noun and the subject of the poem. Line 2 “sheds light” (describes) the subject in two syllables. Line 3 has three syllables, line 4 has four, and line 5 has a 1-syllable word. The poem will look roughly like a lantern, hence the name. Mr. Cleary wrote 15 lanterns, all very cute, most very funny. Since I am a pet person and would have written a lantern about pets, and could not write one better than Mr. Cleary, the example I will share—by Mr. Cleary—is about a pet I know well.


“Feed me.”

“Pet me too.”

“Feed me. Pet me.”


The illustrations, which play out the poems, are colorful and as crazy as the poem it represents. If the illustrations do not amuse you, I am lost for words. I love the images that perfectly match each poem. At the end of If It Rains Pancakes is a list of reference books to learn more about haikus and lanterns, and other poems, including one of the author’s, entitled “Rainbow Soup: Adventures in Poetry.”  Finally there is a list of websites with more poetry activities, including one I had not heard of—but love the name—called Giggle Poetry at gigglepoetry.com


If It Rains Pancakes is a wonderful little book that packs a punch. Teachers would do well to have this on hand when teaching haikus or other Japanese poetry like lanterns. Kids will have fun learning about haikus and lanterns when reading these 35 mostly hilarious poems. Mr. Cleary is a master at teaching kids about writing of every type. If It Rains Pancakes upholds his genius.

IF IT RAINS PANCAKES: HAIKU AND LANTERN POEMS. Text copyright © 2014 by Brian P. Cleary. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Andy Rowland. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, MN.

Buy a copy of If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryLerner Books—or your local bookstore.


Learn more about If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems HERE.

Meet the author, Brian P. Cleary at his website:   http://www.brianpcleary.com/

Meet the illustrator, Andy Rowland, at his website:  http://andrewrowlandillustration.blogspot.com/

Find more books at the Millbrook Press website:

Millbrook Press is a division of Lerner Publishing Group:  https://www.lernerbooks.com/


Bookmarks (4) are available free HERE.


Also by Brian P. Cleary in 2014

Feet and Puppies, Thieves and Guppies: What Are Irregular Plurals?

Feet and Puppies, Thieves and Guppies: What Are Irregular Plurals?

 Madam and Nun and 1001: What Is a Palindrome?

Madam and Nun and 1001: What Is a Palindrome?

Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems

Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems








A Bat Cannot Bat, a Stair Cannot Stare: More About Homonyms and Homophones

A Bat Cannot Bat, a Stair Cannot Stare: More About Homonyms and Homophones

-ful and -less, -er and -ness: What Is a Suffix?

-ful and -less, -er and -ness: What Is a Suffix?




Review HERE




Also by Andy Rowland in 2014

Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems

Ode to a Commode: Concrete Poems



The Elves and the Shoemaker (November, 2014)



if it rains pancakes



Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Poetry, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: Andy Rowland, Brian P. Cleary, children's book reviews, haiku, Japanese poetry, lantern, Lerner Publishing Group, Millbrook Press, poetry

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19. A Snicker of Magic: Review Haiku

Wanted to love this,
and did love parts, but felt like . . .
just . . . trying too hard.

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd. Scholastic, 2014, 320 pages.

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20. Serafina's Promise: Review Haiku

More meaningful after
my church's mission trip.
Affecting and sweet.

Serafina's Promise by Ann E. Burg. Scholastic, 2013, 304 pages.

0 Comments on Serafina's Promise: Review Haiku as of 6/25/2014 7:20:00 AM
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21. Return of Zita the Spacegirl: Review Haiku

My favorite space
pioneer girl gets a fitting
conclusion. Well done.

Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. First Second, 2014, 240 pages.

0 Comments on Return of Zita the Spacegirl: Review Haiku as of 6/27/2014 8:31:00 AM
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22. Saving Baby Doe: Review Haiku

The dangers of
stereotypes; the power of
love. Bring a hankie.

Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante. Putnam, 2014, 230 pages.

0 Comments on Saving Baby Doe: Review Haiku as of 6/30/2014 6:31:00 AM
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23. El Deafo: Review Haiku

Stick this on your
Diverse Books About Kicka$$ Girls
shelf. (Don't have? MAKE ONE.)

El Deafo by Cece Bell. Amulet/Abrams, 2014, 248 pages.

0 Comments on El Deafo: Review Haiku as of 8/1/2014 6:22:00 AM
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24. Sisters: Review Haiku

Honest, heart-breaking,
totally funny. I gave it
to my sister.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. GRAPHIX/Scholastic, 2014, 208 pages.

0 Comments on Sisters: Review Haiku as of 8/4/2014 6:36:00 AM
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25. Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue: Review Haiku

Origami Yoda
turns Andrew Clements, sort of.
Their only hope!

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue by Tom Angleberger. Amulet, 2014, 208 pages.

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