It’s not often I am contacted on behalf of an author who has passed away, but when Sydell Rosenberg’s daughter got in touch with me about this delightful book of haiku poems, H Is For Haiku, I knew I had to say yes to a review. Here’s what Amy Losak had to say about her mom and the book:
“Syd was a charter member of the Haiku Society of America in 1968. She wrote and published her work over a literary career spanning roughly three decades. I’m a member today.
H IS FOR HAIKU, a picture book, was published in 2018 by Penny Candy Books and was honored by the National Council for Teachers of English in 2019.”
Amy went on to say, “I think of my mother every time I take the time to notice the often overlooked “small moments” in our daily lives. That’s what haiku poetry is all about – it’s poetic “mindfulness.”
I agree, and I particularly like this sweet gem of a book that celebrates small moments in childhood, in nature, and in life in general. If you’re not familiar with haiku, its structure often follows a form of 17 syllables in a pattern of 5, 7, 5 syllables over three lines. The words usually do not rhyme.
I’ll share a couple of my favorites from H Is For Haiku:
Plunging downhill/petals falling in her hair/girl on a bike.
Even in the air/with a berry in its mouth/blue jay caw-cawing.
Illustrations by Sawsan Chalabi are bright and colorful, and there’s a lot of white space on each page, making the images stand out. Losak has written an introduction with information about her mother and the poetry form.
H Is For Haiku is one of those books to keep on the shelves for reading over and over, each time finding something new to appreciate in the words and the illustrations. I highly recommend it.