Guess Who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell and illustrated by Bob Shea is a fantastic new book that is a perfect introduction to haiku for older readers and a wonderful book of poetry (and guessing game) for little listeners. I love haiku, but the often abstract nature of the poems can make teaching it to kids - as well as getting them to appreciate it - a challenge. The format of Caswell's book makes grabbing and keeping reader's interest easy. And, while Guess Who, Haiku is intended for toddler aged readers, her word choice is richly descriptive and varied, again, making this book a superb teaching tool.
The format of the book, as seen above, lets readers guess the subject of the haiku, always prompted by the sentence, "Can you guess who from her/his haiku?" A page turn reveals the subject of the poem with a jaunty illustration from Shea, who's bright, Easter egg palette and happy faces will definitely delight little listeners. After the first poem, following haikus are introduced by the subject of the previous poem, as such:
This bird has a haiku just for you.
from a lily pad
keen eyes spy a careless fly
a sticky tongue - SNAP!
Can you guess who from her haiku?
Guess Who, Haiku is so fun to read out loud. Caswell includes a final page about the structure of haiku that is easy to grasp. If you read Guess Who, Haiku with older children, be sure to have a paper and pen nearby as I have no doubt they will want to try writing their own haiku!