Books by Theme

Asian Pacific American Poetry, Haiku, and Sijo

Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

Are You an Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

By: Misuzu Kaneko
Illustrated by: Toshikado Hajiri
Genre: Biography, Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This sensitively crafted picture book offers a glimpse into the life and work of Japanese poet Kaneko (1903–30). Accompanied by colorful, soft illustrations, the first half recounts Kaneko's short life along with a selection of her poems that thematically complement the text. The second half is a larger (also illustrated) collection of her poems in English and Japanese.

Chinese Nursery Rhymes

Chinese Nursery Rhymes

By: Robert Wyndham
Illustrated by: Ed Young
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Rhymes, lullabies, and songs from the Chinese oral tradition have been translated and illustrated with softly toned watercolors evocative of Asian art. Children and adults alike with recognize the universal themes of childhood in these pieces.

Guess Who, Haiku

Guess Who, Haiku

By: Deanna Caswell
Illustrated by: Bob Shea
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Short, evocative poems – haiku – present clues about familiar animals.  With a turn of the page, the answer is revealed in bold typeface and a charming illustration. This short poetic form is effectively used to play a guessing game.

My First Book of Haiku Poems: A Picture, a Poem and a Dream

My First Book of Haiku Poems: A Picture, a Poem and a Dream

By: Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen
Illustrated by: Tracy Gallup
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Nature comes alive in each classic haiku accompanied by an expressive, imaginative painting. The poems appear in both English and Japanese, which is also transliterated to facilitate pronunciation. 

One Leaf Rides the Wind

One Leaf Rides the Wind

By: Celeste Mannis
Illustrated by: Susan Kathleen Hartung
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This richly illustrated collection of haiku poems is a counting book as well as an introduction to Japanese gardens and to a poetic form. From one leaf chased by a little girl to 10 stone lanterns, this garden can be enjoyed on several levels.

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)

By: Linda Sue Park
Illustrated by: Istvan Banyai
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Like haiku, sijo – a little known, brief poetic form from Korea – looks at everyday activities from breakfast to the weather. Sophisticated illustrations complement the seemingly simple language to delight readers and listeners.

The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons

The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons

By: Sid Farrar
Illustrated by: Ilse Plume
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The seasons of a year are presented in realistic illustrations and thoughtful, evocative haikus. A brief note about the form is followed by a final poem: "Earth circles the sun/spinning a tapestry of/days, months, seasons — life."

Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi

By: Mark Reibstein
Illustrated by: Ed Young
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lyrical text and rich collage illustrations combine to tell the story of a brown cat named Wabi Sabi as he discovers the meaning of his name. As Wabi Sabi's journey unfolds so, too, does the reader's understanding of Japanese culture and sensibility.
Country of origin: Japan
 

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