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Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys
Contributor(s): Raczka, Bob, Reynolds, Peter H. (Illustrator)
ISBN: 132886930X     ISBN-13: 9781328869302
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    OUR PRICE: $6.30  
Product Type: Paperback
Published: March 2018
Boy-centric haiku about outdoor fun throughout the seasons, with illustrations by the New York Times bestselling creator Peter Reynolds.

The wind and I play
tug-of-war with my new kite.
The wind is winning.

When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash through in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to sword fight with in the winter. 

Nature also has a way of making a guy appreciate important stuff—like how many rocks it takes to dam up a stream, or how much snow equals a day off from school.

So what kind of poetry best captures these special moments, at a length that lets guys get right back to tree climbing and kite flying? Why, guyku, of course!

Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Boys & Men
- Juvenile Fiction | Nature & The Natural World
Dewey: E
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 7.25" H x 8.00" W x 0.50" (0.30 lbs)
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring)
Focusing on nature and seasons, each of Raczka's twenty-four haiku captures with amazing economy specific moments of a boy's life. Reynolds depicts the characters' glee and energy as well as natural elements in just a few deft lines. The pages are clean white, the book's shape is small and square, and each poem is accompanied by a delicate and funny two-color illustration. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #6)
Haiku seems like a particularly appeal-ing form of poetry for guys, because it represents a challenge: make the syllables fit the five/seven/five form. Raczka retains the classical requirements of haiku, with a focus on nature and the seasons, and writes a series of six poems per season. Each of the twenty-four haiku captures with amazing economy the specific moments of a boy's life, beginning with spring: "The wind and I play / tug-of-war with my new kite. / The wind is winning." In fall, it's time to rake the leaves: "From underneath the / leaf pile, my invisible / brother is giggling." Illustrator Reynolds depicts the glee and energy of the boy characters as well as natural elements, such as a puddle with a reflection, in just a few deft lines. The pages are clean white, the book's shape is small and square, and each poem is handwritten, accompanied by a delicate and funny two-color illustration. Raczka and Reynolds are a winning team, and the results will start many boy (and girl) readers thinking about turning their own experience into a seventeen-syllable poem. susan dove lempke Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2010 September #3)

In creating this nostalgic collection of haiku, Raczka (Summer Wonders) cites the form's brevity and its emphasis on nature and the present as reasons why it's "a wonderful form of poetry for guys like us." Categorized (as haiku traditionally are) by season and progressing through the year, his "guyku" poems celebrate the mud of spring, the campfires of summer ("With the ember end/ of my long marshmallow stick,/ I draw on the dark"), the transformation of fall, and the joys of winter, with plenty of giggling thrown in--"Penny on the rail,/ You used to look like Lincoln/ before you got smooshed." Reynolds (The Dot) provides an expressively drawn vignette for each haiku in muted tones of mossy green, sepia, and watery blue. This is childhood as adults remember it, or want to remember it: no flat-screen TVs, no computers, no cars or cellphones. Whether children will recognize their own lives in these wistful visions is not clear, but they will certainly appreciate Raczka's humor: "If this puddle could/ talk, I think it would tell me/ to splash my sister." Ages 3–7. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2010 September)

K-Gr 3—Haiku seems like a terrific way to introduce boys to poetry; it's deceptive in its simplicity and accessible to almost any reader. The poems in this picture-book collection capture natural moments that boys, and many girls, have while playing outdoors. Each season is addressed, and moments like riding bikes in the spring with baseball cards attached to the wheels to mimic the sound of a motorcycle almost define spring. In summer, Reynolds's illustration shows a mischievous boy with an obvious dilemma. "Pine tree invites me/to climb up to the sky./How can I refuse?" The artwork and the text dovetail beautifully and help set the inquisitive and playful intent of the poems. Fall finds two boys smacking cattails against a park bench and creating a snowstorm of airborne seeds. In winter, it's boys doing what they do best—throwing snowballs and sword fighting with icicles. This wonderful collection will resonate with all children as they recognize their earnest and sometimes misdirected antics in each poem. The pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations mirror the simplicity of each entry and capture the expressions of the boys and their adventures honestly. This is haiku at its most fun. All libraries should grab it for their collections.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

[Page 139]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.