So, naturally, when Hi, Koo! came out, I had a flutter of email and Facebook activity. But I was one step ahead of everyone on this one and already had a copy. Hi, Koo! is a wonderful, gentle poetic journey through the four seasons in the company Koo. Well versed in haiku, Koo is the enchantingly delightful nephew of Stillwater, a giant but gentle, Zen wise Panda first introduced to young readers in Zen Shorts (Scholastic, 2005). We met Koo in 2008 when he visited he uncle in Zen Ties.
In Hi, Koo!, Jon Muth first explains the Japanese haiku and why the line pattern of five, seven, five sound parts won't work in English. He then tells us that for him, a haiku is an "instant captured in words...using sensory images" that capture an emotion.
And so, with Koo's help, Muth takes us through the four season in twenty six different haiku's, and thrown in for good measure is the alphabet, each letter disguised within the haiku in its capital form.
There are 6 haiku dedicated to Fall, seven to Winter, six to Spring and seven to Summer. Each one with its own beautiful watercolor and ink illustration featuring Koo, and sometimes a little black kitten friend.
I love the idea of introducing young readers to the beauty and expressiveness of poetry and this book goes far in achieving that goal. Muth has captured some emotional instants we have all felt at one time or another.
But, wait, see for yourself. Allow me to share one of my favorites from each season (but the are all good):
This book is recommended for readers age 5+
This book was purchased for my personal library