Synopses & Reviews
Sijo, a traditional Korean verse form, has a fixed number of stressed syllables and a humorous or ironic twist at the end. Like haiku, sijo are brief and accessible. The verses in this book illuminate funny, unexpected aspects of the everydayandmdash;of breakfast, houseplants, tennis, freshly washed socks. Carefully crafted and deceptively simple, Linda Sue Parkand#39;s sijo are a pleasure to read and an invitation to experiment with an unfamiliar poetic form. Istvan Banyaiand#39;s giddy illustrations add a one-of-a-kind luster to a book that is truly a gem.
"Similar to the Japanese haiku, the Korean sijo packs image, metaphor and surprise into three long (or six short) lines with a fixed number of syllables: 'Lightning jerks the sky awake to take her photograph, flash!/ Which draws grumbling complaints or even crashing tantrums from thunder / He hates having his picture taken, so he always gets there late.' Newbery Medalist Park's (A Single Shard) sijo skip lightly from breakfast ('warm, soft, and delicious a few extra minutes in bed') to bedtime (about bathing: 'From a tiled cocoon, a butterfly with terry-cloth wings'), with excursions to the backyard, the classroom, and the beach ('Are all the perfect sand dollars locked away somewhere in sand banks?'). The sijo's contours are clean and spare, qualities echoed in the blue-gray, black and white architecture and crisp shadows of Banyai's (Zoom) digital illustrations. In the spirit of Park's experiments with this verse form, Banyai's miniature children bounce through a series of imaginative leaps unencumbered by the rules of the real world. They sleep in teacups, grow wings and fly among the flowers, snip mathematical equations to bits with gigantic pairs of scissors, and wreak havoc with bottles of ink. Park wants readers to try sijo for themselves, and in an extensive author's note she offers history, advice and encouragement; her own sijo and Banyai's cheeky images will supply the motivation. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
andldquo;Fresh and collegial, this offering stands out.andrdquo;andmdash;Kirkus Reviews, starred review
andldquo;Banyaiandrsquo;s illustrations enhance the collection with an extra element of wit and imaginative freedom.andrdquo;andmdash;Horn Book
andldquo;Park wants readers to try sijo for themselves, and in an extensive authorand#39;s note she offers history, advice and encouragement.andrdquo;andmdash;Publishers Weekly
andldquo;A smart and appealing introduction to an overlooked poetic form.andrdquo;andmdash;School Library Journal, starred review
andldquo;With this lighthearted collection of her own sijo, the form will take a flying leap into the consciousness of both children and teachers.andrdquo;andmdash;Booklist, Starred Review
A book of irresistible and deceptively simple sijo poems thatand#160;illuminate the funny, unexpected, amazing aspects of the everydayand#8212;of breakfast, thunder and lightning, houseplants, tennis, freshly laundered socks.
About the Author
Istvan Banyai is the creator of the award-winning children's book Zoom and The Other Side. He lives in Connecticut.