you be my jelly,
i’ll be your peanut butter–
let’s stick together!
This, as you might expect, is a very sweet book. Readers will find a fun and poignant haiku on each page paired with cute illustrations of bold lines, smooth watercolors, and characters reminiscent of illustrator Gyo Fujikawa (one of our favorites). The characters express their love for everything from bikes and lemonade to parents, friends, and pets. Children and adults will both love the silly but apt comparisons in each poem. Snyder finds a way to boil down sentiment to basic ideas, and she does so very effectively without being condescending.
The book jacket says that “both the young and the young at heart will enjoy sharing these simple poems of affection and appreciation,” and I think that is absolutely true. That being said, this book has a very specific audience type: it is a hardcover the size of a board book, making it impractical for sharing in large groups like classroom story times. It also isn’t necessarily a good “lesson” book for what a haiku is and how to write one on your own; there are no notes in the back about poetry or syllable count. Snyder presents it as a story of relationships told in verse, and though it’s very loose, a storyline can be discerned in the form of progressing time.
Now here’s the good news: as a one-on-one, this book is great, and I can easily picture a parent and kid snuggled in bed together, reading each page back and forth. It is the perfect gift book, whether for birthdays, Valentine’s, or just because. In fact, if you’re looking for a gift for that special someone this Valentine’s Day, skip the chocolates (gasp!) and pick up a copy of I Haiku You at your local bookstore. Anyone with a playful personality between the ages of 4 and 104 will love it.
Copyright December 2012
Images from www.nytimes.com and www.amazon.com