BOOK REVIEW: Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs!

Gollub, Matthew.  Illustrated by Kazuko G. Stone. Calligraphy by Keiko Smith. Cool Melons-Turn to Frogs!: The Life and Poems of Issa. New York: Lee & Low, 1998.

This is a beautiful book, even for children who aren’t fond of poetry. Matthew Gollub tells the story of the haiku master Issa, interweaving translations of 33 haiku. The narrative creates a framework for understanding, especially the plaintive poems written when Issa keenly felt the loss of his mother.

“Motherless sparrow,/ come play/ with me.” Continue reading

Book Review: Three Haiku books for children

Confession: When I get stuck while writing – such as 400 words into a scene that I realize doesn’t move the plot – I have a couple pick-me-ups. One is to pick up a dry academic book and read until my brain screams for creative release.* The other is to read a children’s book.

While perusing my library’s catalogue, I came across a title I hadn’t seen since I was little: Flower Moon SnowA Book of Haiku by Kazue Mizumura. I requested a couple contemporary haiku books, too, which made an interesting contrast. Continue reading

Losing my drive…

…in winter, that is!

It takes a practice to drive in snow, sleet, and ice. This winter being so mild, I’ve been out of practice. I didn’t realize how much until Friday, when I drove to my parents’ house. Snow was coming down lightly, but the roads were clear.

As usual, I was using the Driving Like an Old Lady Technique, a skill that has made me a favorite among designated drivers and owners of sports cars.* Not to disclose all the secrets of this mysterious art, but suffice to say that it involves sticking to the left lanes. I get to my destination in a timely manner, but with 1/3 the road rage. Continue reading