Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

National Poetry Month Celebration: Haiku

Welcome to week two of Read, Discuss, Do's poetry celebration! This week we are encouraging you to read, discuss, and write haiku, a Japanese poetic form made up of 3 lines. A traditional haiku is often about something in nature, but it doesn't have to be.

Dogku by Andrew Clements and Wonton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw (illustrated by Eugen Yelchin) are both stories about pets told in a series of haiku. Also look for its companion book, Wonton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku. And be sure to keep reading for an example of a "catku" that Lee was kind enough to share especially for this post!

Whoo-ku Haiku by Maria Gianferrari (illustrated by Jonathan Voss) is also a story told in a series of haiku. More true to the traditional haiku in subject matter, the story is about a family of great horned owls.

In Lion of the Sky by Laura Purdie Salas (illustrated by Mercè López) the haiku are also riddle poems!

A few other haiku books:

Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys by Chris Raczka (illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds)

If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky (illustrated by Ted Rand)

I Haiku You by Betsy Snyder

Here are some examples of haiku:

Colorful leaves drift

streaming bits of confetti

fall's celebration

© Rebecca J. Gomez

Blind Tom hunched at old

hole, poised to pounce for so long - 

slips into a nap

© Lee Wardlaw

Two miles. Heart pumping.

Wind rushing, affirmation

....I forgot my gloves.

© Samantha Coté

Are you ready to write your own now? Feel free to share your (or your kids') haiku in the comments. 

About the poets:

Rebecca J. Gomez is the founder of Read, Discuss, Do!, an author, and a poet. Find out more about her and her books at www.rebeccajgomez.com.

Lee Wardlaw is an award-winning author and poet. Her book Wonton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku won the Lee Bennet Hopkins Poetry Award and the Myra Cohn Livingston Poetry Award, and many others. Wonton and Choptstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku was an NCTE Notable Poetry Book and it won the Booksource Scout Award for Poetry. Find out more about Lee and her books at her website, leewardlaw.com

Samantha Coté is an outspoken poet and blogger, and the daughter of Rebecca J. Gomez. You can read more of her musings at her blog, thoughtmoot.blogspot.com.


Samantha Coté said…
I think haiku is the perfect form of poetry for cats. Succinct yet elegant. Sometimes incredibly difficult.