Guyku

Guyku

A Year of Haiku for Boys

Book - 2010
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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 in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to swordfight 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!

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010
ISBN: 9780547240039
Branch Call Number: 811.6 RAC 2010 22
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill
Additional Contributors: Reynolds, Peter

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LibrLdyMapleValley Jan 23, 2015

Get into Guyku. Yes, you heard me... Guyku. Author Bob Raczka explains why he wrote this haiku packed book (illustrated wonderfully by Peter Reynolds). First, haiku's are about nature and he says that as a boy and now an almost-adult he loved being out in nature. Second, they're short but still "pack a punch". (I've heard haiku described as the little poem that sounds like a sneeze!) Third, haiku is written in present tense and the author believes that boys tend to be most interested in what's happening right NOW. My dad is also a haiku artist and he sends me punchy haiku poems all the time, usually when I least expect them and always to great effect. Guyku is for guys like my dad who can share this gem with his grandson with great success.
So what's a Guyku Haiku like? Here are a couple of gems:
"From underneath the
leaf pile, my invisible
brother is giggling."
Or
"If this puddle could
talk, I think it would tell me
to splash my sister."

The artwork that accompanies the poems is perfectly suited to the silliness and wonder that abounds. The facial expressions capture the pre-puddle attack as well as the fascination of a night sky. This is also a book of poetry that will give guys some excellent ideas for stuff to do outside in all seasons. And, who knows, maybe it will inspire some haiku artists to create some punchy Guyku of their own.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Feb 27, 2013

Guyku. From that title you don’t have to be an English major to figure out what it contains. High-interest boy-friendly fare is all the rage but few titles have attempted to dip such a blatant toe into the world of poetry. Raczka and Reynolds do it together with good poetry and good pictures.

u
Ubalstecha
Jan 08, 2012

Boys and poetry don't really seem to go together, do they? But for poet Bob Racza, given haiku's focus on nature and boys' desire to play outside, they should. And so he has created twenty-four haikus, which he has organized according to season.

Haiku purists will quibble that these are not all true Haikus, given that some are about bikes, sisters and school, but they are definitely all about things boys love (or love to hate). More for the junior reader, teachers will LOVE this book for their poetry units.

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RobertELPL Mar 06, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 4 years and over

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Feb 27, 2013

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Feb 27, 2013

“If this puddle could / talk, I think it would tell me / to splash my sister”

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Feb 27, 2013

"Penny on the rail / You used to look like Lincoln / Before you got smooshed."

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Feb 27, 2013

If haiku has a tendency to synthesize the natural world into single lines of pure, clean thought, then how might that format be used to convey all the fun to be had when playing in that world? Guyku travels through the four seasons to conjure up old truths, new ideas, and classic bits of seasonal revelry. From sword fighting with icicles to skipping stones to raking leaves over your brother, Raczka has his finger firmly lodged on the pulse of what it is to be a kid growing up. And for his own part, Peter H. Reynolds stops the book from sounding like mere nostalgia by complementing the title with his contemporary (but still somehow classic) watercolor illustrations.

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