April doesn’t always have to be the cruelest month. It’s also #NationalPoetryMonth. Because despite what you (and especially your kid) might think, poetry is fun. Really!
Case in point: a new illustrated poetry book for kids, H Is For Haiku: A Treasury of Haiku from A to Z, written by the late poet Sydell Rosenberg, is a delight from beginning to end. As the title indicates, it’s an A-Z compendium of haiku that brings out the joy and the poetry in ordinary moments we experience everyday.
Rosenberg, who died of an undiagnosed heart condition in 1996, was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America and a New York City public school teacher. So, you know, she knew a thing or two about poetry and getting kids interested in reading.
Rosenberg’s daughter, Amy Losak, set about realizing her mom’s dream of publishing children’s book of haiku — or, as Losak calls them, “word-pictures.”
“For various reasons, it took years to mobilize,” Losak says of the project, which also involved her brother, Nathan, and his wife, Debbie. “And of course, once I started to submit her manuscript to publishers, it was rejected. Or publishers didn’t respond at all. I wanted to give up. But I kept on going, thanks to encouragement and support from many kind-hearted people.”
Their hard work paid off — H Is For Haiku is an endearing volume that’s perfect for introducing poetry to young readers. The book “is about taking the ‘small moments’ that surround us and making them ‘big’ — that is, special,” says Losak. “A number of these gently playful poems are ‘rooted’ in urban [life], but they are timeless and universal as well.”
Check out some of the poems and illustrations below: