Early Book Review: If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems by Brian P. Cleary, Andy Rowland

If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Andy Rowland, is a book that explains and celebrates two types of ancient Japanese poetry: haiku and lanterns. It is currently schedule for release on May 1 2014. There are short introductions with an outline of the basic rules of each form followed by a series of poems in explained format. The poems range from silly to sweet, with lighthearted illustrations adding to the books appeal.

If it Rains Pancakes is a wonderful way to explore poetry with children, or for yourself. I loved getting a better understanding of the haiku, and seeing lanterns for the first time. The short non-rhyming poems are unique in style and take some getting used to, but can be great fun to work with. I enjoyed the range of silly, warm hearted, and serious subject matters- showing that the form of poetry is versatile even in its  strict structure. The illustration do a nice job of illustrating the poems and bring the subject home.

I would recommend If it Rains Pancakes for classroom, homeschooling, and pure enjoyment. It can be used as a great tool to help explain these particular forms of poetry, and to foster enjoyment in poetry in general. the illustrations and poems make it well worth perusing for its own sake.

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