Hi, Koo! A Picture Book

Not all picture books are for little children. Sometimes they are for children in grownups' bodies. Other times they are for grownups to read to children. And still other times, a child might pick up a book and love it no matter what. 
Hi, Koo!
Hi, Koo! is not something I'd read in my storytime, for example. Muth does a great job explaining the art of haiku, and how it's not just 5-7-5 syllabic counting, but rather a moment in time captured. It's a sensation expressed in words. In that sense, this is a very successful book of haiku. There are some that kids will relate to more than others: "Eating warm cookies / on a cold day / is easy." You bet! The last one in the book is one of my favorites: "becoming so quite / Zero sound / only breath." I love the accompanying illustration.

Speaking, of which, the illustrations are also fantastic. I love a good watercolor, and this is poetic and evocative, just like the words. Koo, the panda bear, is naturally adorable (I mean, can you make a panda bear NOT adorable??? No.). The kids look like relatively real kids, unlike in Raschka or Radunsky (two illustrators who I know have big followings, but I just don't like their renderings of humans. *hides*). 

While it's not going to be for everyone, there is an audience for this. It would also be good for teachers to use when teaching about different types of poetry, and how breaking the rules often yields the best results. 

Much like haiku, this book is about the experience, not just the words or the pictures by themselves.

Note: I won this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway from Scholastic.  All opinions in my review/post are my own.


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