Best Books 2011= #11 Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku

As the year turns from 2011 to 2012, I’ll be counting down our top 11 picks of this year.  These may or may not be the books that win awards in during award season in January. They are the books that my boys requested the most this year. Most of these I have already reviewed during the year, so I’ll provide you with a quick review and a link back to any activities we have done.
Our first book is  {drum roll}

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw
 Seriously, the title pretty much sums up the entire story. This book tells the tale of a cat who is adopted from a shelter, taken to a new home, and given a name, Won Ton. The entire book is written in haikus like this:

Won Ton? How can I
be soup? Someday, I’ll tell you
my real name. Maybe. 

This is the first picture book I’ve read that was written in haiku. Well, actually it’s written in senryu. According to the author’s notes, the haiku form requires writing about nature. Senryu follows the same syllabication of haiku but focuses on human nature (or in this case the nature of a snarky cat). Besides being incredibly funny, one of the great things about the book was the voice that was given to the cat. Through the choice of words and the structure of the language, you can hear this cat’s personality.  The story is also moving. It touches on the relationship between the boy and his cat.The illustrations are great and add to the character of the overall story.
I think this would be a great classroom read aloud, however, it’s one book that you won’t want to read cold. Because of the haiku form, some of the sentences are a little choppy. I stumbled a little the first time through. So read it to yourself first… I promise, it will entertain you as much as it entertains the kids!
This book was originally reviewed on October 22, 2011.

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