Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons

The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons

Sid Farrar
Illustrator:  Ilse Plume 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Albert Whitman & Company, 2012   ISBN: 978-0807581292

It is wintertime and when we get up in the morning there is frost on the windows so that “Each windowpane’s a / masterpiece,” of delicate frost designs.  When snow falls, children build a snowman, who hopes that the “noon sun won’t / notice” that it is there.

   In the spring a mother robin’s eggs hatch and she has to get busy finding food for her chicks. Luckily food is plentiful and she is able to bring an earthworm “back to her nest to / meet her family.”

   Summer evenings bring careful watchers a special treat. As light fades “fireflies quietly blink / their secrets.” This is also the time of year when one is most likely to experience a violent thunderstorm. Fed by the heat and moisture in the air, “Thick, black clouds grumble” above the “parched earth below.”

   Haiku is a poetry form that traditionally uses words to capture a picture of something from the natural world, and the poems are often seasonal in nature. The author of this book follows the Japanese haiku custom by focusing on nature, taking readers through the twelve months of the year with gem like poems. The poems are paired with lovely illustrations and at the back of the book readers will find more information about haiku, and “The Cycle of Life.”