BOOK: Book of poems perfect for Valentine’s DayIf you prefer short poems, take a look at “I haiku you,” written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder.
By: Jean Patrick, Republic Book Columnist
On Valentine’s Day, poems of love are plentiful. But they don’t need to be long to be meaningful. If you prefer short poems, take a look at “I haiku you,” written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder.
“i haiku you” contains 18 haiku poems that show the love that children may experience throughout a day.
One of the first poems shows a boy and a girl on a winter morning, making heart-shaped show angels in an open field. Here’s the haiku:
hey there, snow angel,
we make perfect valentines -
match made in heaven.
But the poems in this collection are not limited to romantic love. The poems celebrate friendship, soup on a sick day, s’mores around a campfire, and the “hug” of a towel after a bath.
Snyder even helps kids see how much they are loved by animals.
When a boy gets off the bus, his dog (who has a heart-shaped brown spot over his eye) comes to greet him:
wiggle-wag tail love,
Snyder’s poems also have multiple meanings. In one illustration, a child stands alone in a garden, watering a tiny sprout. The haiku could be the voice of the child, expressing love to the plant. But it could also be the voice of the parent:
little by little
i love watching you grow up,
each and every inch.
Synder’s illustrations are simple and outlined in black. Yet within this simplicity, she maximizes the tiny details.
In one of my favorite illustrations, Snyder shows an observant girl by a mailbox with an envelope in her hand.
She looks above to four random stars, connected with the outline of a heart.
“i haiku you” becomes richer each time it is read, especially as kids begin to understand the many expressions of love. Although this book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, its true value extends throughout the year.
“i haiku you.” By Betsy Snyder. Random House, 2012. 32pp.