A very brief picturebook biography of one of Japan's greatest Haiku poets, Issa. Text telling the story of Issa's life is interspersed with lines of haiku illuminating the text and with water color and colored pencil illustrations. An extensive author's note makes this volume helpful for teaching about haiku or for just enjoying the selections within. — Northshire Staff
For hundreds of years, school children in Japan have been introduced to poetry through the work of Issa. Born in 1763 on a farm in central Japan, Issa began writing poetry as a young child, inspired by his deep love for the natural world. Later in his boyhood and throughout his life, poetry was also Issa's refuge in times of joy and in times of suffering. Matthew Gollub's poignant rendering of Issa's life and over thirty of his best-loved poems, along with Kazuko Stone's sensitive and humorous watercolor paintings, make Cool Melons a classic introduction to Issa's work for readers of all ages. With authentic Japanese calligraphy, a detailed Afterword, and exhaustive research by both author and illustrator, this is also an inspirational book about haiku, writing, nature, and life.
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year ALA Notable Children’s Book American Library Association’s “Choices” Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) “Editor’s Choice” San Francisco Chronicle Best Children’s Books of the Year Bank Street College of Education Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, Children’s and Young Adult Category California Collections California Readers Children’s Book of the Year Outstanding Merit Bank Street College Children’s Book Committee
About the Author
Matthew Gollub is a nationally known children’s author, speaker and performer. He has created 18 picture books which together have garnered 25 national awards and distinctions. His musical narrations on audio CDs accompany some of his most popular books including The Jazz Fly and Jazz Fly 2: The Jungle Pachanga. A dynamic drummer and bilingual presenter, he has also performed at over 1,000 elementary schools nationwide, inspiring students and families to read for fun. He lives with his family in Santa Rosa, CA.
"As restrained, graceful, and concise as the art form it honors." —The Horn Book, starred review
"Readers would be hard-pressed to find a more eloquent…and inspiring approach to understanding (and writing) this deceptively simple art form." —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“Readers would be hard-pressed to find a more eloquent…and inspiring approach to understanding (and writing) this deceptively simple art form.” —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
"A successful collaboration of verse and prose that brings a famous 18th-century poet to life. Although just an introduction, this book explains a lot about haiku and those who wrote it." —School Library Journal
"Readers will get a glimpse of the poet’s extraordinary range of subject and feeling, as well as cogent instruction in how to read and understand these deceptively simple verses." —Kirkus Reviews