Author/Illustrator: Jon J. Muth
Join Koo the panda and his young friends as they explore the wonders of the seasons through haiku! While I enjoy haiku personally anyhow, I enjoyed this children’s introduction much more than I expected. The haiku themselves are American and somewhat nontraditional in that they don’t strictly follow the 5-7-5 syllable rule. However, they capture the essence of the form, encapsulating a moment and an idea in a three-line poem, most also having a seasonal allusion. The poems are candid, fresh, and occasionally humorous–very nice. Plus, the book is wonderfully illustrated in watercolor that combines an Asian brush-painting feel with some unexpected and fun contemporary allusions–a tic-tac-toe dragon, for instance! And or course, you’ve got Koo himself rambling through the pages with his pals in his super-cute way. Hi, Koo! is a great introduction to haiku, and also just a fun kids’ book in general. Definitely a recommended read.