Sunday, April 27, 2008

Review of Dogku

While browsing the picture book shelves at my local Borders, I came across a little book of haiku called Dogku by Andrew Clements. The haiku tell the story of a little dog, Mooch, who wants a permanent home. Here's an example:

Squirrel sits in tree.

Mooch sits below, looking up.

Who has more patience?

Copyright2008 Andrew Clements

I can just imagine the fun young children would have with this book. The warmth of the poems and expressive illustrations make the reader fall instantly in love with Mooch. I know it will inspire older students to write their own haiku stories.

I especially like the Author's Note at the end of the book where Mr. Clements explains what a haiku is and encourages kids to write their own. He compares writing haiku to choosing a small vase, a small container to place the perfect words to express what you most want to say. What a great way to think about haiku or any poetry.

After reading Mooch's story, I decided to try writing a dog haiku (dogku). I started thinking about friend who volunteers at an animal shelter telling me that older dogs are rarely adopted. This is what came to mind:

on adoption day
puppies beg, “Pick me, pick me!”
hoping- a new home

on adoption day
old dogs lay silent, sleeping
this their final home

Read more about Andrew Clements and his over fifty books for children:

1 comment:

  1. Had no idea Clements wrote haiku. He is one of my favorites for 3rd-7th grade readers.

    My kids and I have recently been excited by a haiku contest by Copyblogger. We participated, and it was a blast. So I started my own contest with the subject of books.