Thursday, June 2, 2016

Guess Who, Haiku (Deanna Caswell)

Author: Deanna Caswell

Illustrator: Bob Shea

Publisher Summary: “Guess Who, Haiku is a unique poetic guessing game illustrated by bestselling and beloved artist Bob Shea. Author Deanna Caswell’s playful take on the inventive Japanese form of poetry offers clues about the creatures hiding on every page in this creative and clever picture book of charmingly illustrated poems for the very young.

As readers meet a cow, a bee, a horse, a bird, a frog, a fish, a mouse, a cat, and a dog, they will be delighted to learn that they are the subject of the final poem. Parents [and educators] will appreciate the simple guide to understanding the haiku.”

Evaluation: Guess Who, Haiku is the perfect way to introduce this form of poetry to young children—whether more formally in a classroom setting or informally at home cuddled up on the couch. 

There are clues for each animal. The main one is the haiku. Here are a few haiku examples from the book:

sitting for a treat
an eager tail smacks the ground
over and over

a soft noise in oats
after an afternoon ride
back at the stable

two hands hold a book
guessing animals’ puzzles
written in haiku

There is also a visual clue under each haiku. For instance, there is a dog bowl & bone for the dog and horseshoe & hay for the horse.  Bob Shea’s illustrations are endearing and adorable.

Guess Who, Haiku combines opportunities for adult-child interaction with predicting skills along with learning a form of poetry.  This book is one stepping-stone toward fostering a love of poetry and words. 

Activities and Extension Ideas for Lesson Plans:
  • Predicting Skills: Using the context clues—visual and verbal, guess the animal being described.
  • Writing Haikus: Practice writing haikus together and allow the child(ren) to illustrate them. Older children can write their own haikus. Visit Kids Zone for additional handouts and information on haikus.
  • Poetry: Introduce one or more other poetry forms such as a limerick.  Compare and contrast the forms. Practice reading and writing the new form as well.
  • Memory Game: After reading the book, play a memory game with animal pictures. Here are some cards you can make at home if you do not already have a game on hand.
  • Syllables: Teach the concept of a syllable.  Practice identifying how many syllables are in a word or line of poetry.  It always helped me to clap them out. 

It’s Poetry Friday.  Visit Check It Out’s Blog for other shared poems and poetry books around the web. 


  1. By chance I came across this book in a bookshop in a neighboring town last week - and had to buy it! It is so very clever, and I agree the illustrations are wonderful.

  2. This sounds like a delightful book and a wonderfully interactive reading experience. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for featuring this title -- will have to look for it!

  4. This sounds absolutely charming!

  5. Thanks for the information. I'll have to look for this one.

  6. Sounds like a lovely book and fun for kids, or kids with adults. Thanks for the review.

  7. Looks like fun! I'll keep my eye out for it. (I love Bob Shea!!!)

  8. Thanks to everyone who stopped in and left a comment. I hope you all get a chance to read this one.

  9. Thanks for the heads-up on this terrific book, Books4Learning! (I wish I knew your name ~)

  10. Love this book! I've shared it with a group of 3-5 year olds and it was a big hit. Thanks for sharing! =)


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