Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku

Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku

Paul B. Janeczko, J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrator:  Tricia Tusa 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Little Brown, 2006   ISBN: 978-0316607315

If you are expecting simple and elegant haiku about matters of great importance and meaning, then you will have to look elsewhere, for in this book you will find nonsense senryu that are full of wit, wordplay and outlandish humor. The poets who created these funny flights of fancy write about things that are ridiculous, things from everyday life, and things that are completely improbable.

For example, on one page we read about a boy whose sister gets a "complete makeover," and then on the next we read about some children whose "freedom vanishes" when the babysitter comes over. These are everyday situations that we can all identify with.

Then, at the other end of the spectrum - in the realm of the fantastical - there is the poem about a mother hippopotamus and her baby who sit in front of the TV eating French fries. On another page we see a the old grumpy bear who listens to "Mom and Dad snoring." These are completely improbable and deliciously amusing situations to imagine.

To go with these unique poems, Tricia Tulsa has created a wonderful series of illustrations that are full of humor, outlandishness, and charm. The combination of the poems and the artwork tickles the funny bone, and readers will see that poetry does not have to be serious to have an impact.