Review of Guyku, by Bob Raczka


A Year of Haiku for Boys

by Bob Raczka
illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Houghton Books for Children, Boston, 2010. 48 pages.
Starred Review

At the end of this book, Bob Raczka explains why he wrote Guyku, a collection of haiku for boys.

“Now that I’m a grownup (sort of), I realize that haiku is a wonderful form of poetry for guys like us. Why? Because haiku is an observation of nature, and nature is a place where guys love to be….

“One more thing about haiku: they’re written in the present tense. In other words, whatever happens in a haiku, it’s happening right now. From my experience, guys are always interested in what’s happening right now.

“In case you were wondering, every haiku in this book is about something I did as a boy. Or something I’ve seen my own boys do. It’s the kind of stuff I — along with amazing and inspiring illustrator Peter H. Reynolds — wanted to share with guys like you.”

The poems are wonderful, with a section for each of the four seasons. The illustrations beautifully capture the playful, adventurous spirit expressed in the haiku. I’ll give an example from each season, but please remember that the illustrations make them all the more wonderful!


“In a rushing stream,
we turn rocks into a dam.
Hours flow by us.”


“Pine tree invites me
to climb him up to the sky.
How can I refuse?”


“Hey, who turned off all
the crickets? I’m not ready
for summer to end.”


“Winter must be here.
Every time I open my
mouth, a cloud comes out.”

Check this book out and share it with a guy in your life!

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Source: This review is based on a library book from the Fairfax County Public Library.

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