Hi, Koo!

Hi, Koo!

A Year of Seasons

Book - 2014
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The author and his delightful little panda bear, Koo challenge readers to stretch their minds and imaginations with twenty-six haikus about the four seasons.
Publisher: New York :, Scholastic Press,, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780545166683
Branch Call Number: EASY 811 MUT 2014
Characteristics: 32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 23 x 25 cm


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Jul 23, 2018

With much admiration for many of Jon J Muth's books "Hi, Koo!" is an equally lovable book. The thoughtful author's note in the beginning let's the reader know that the Haiku written here is not rigid in form and explains a bit about the traditional Japanese style. The poems and illustrations are genuine in expression and capture perspectives not often thought of.

A wonderful book to discover the seasons, friends, the alphabet, poetry and art all in one place.

Oct 14, 2017

I enjoyed this a lot, but would have preferred traditional Haiku.

ChristchurchKids Jun 27, 2016

Through quiet, delicate illustrations and evocative haiku, young readers are invited to explore the changing seasons through the wondering eyes of young panda Koo. The simple yet descriptive form of haiku allows each short poem to capture the beauty of a moment: the delicious warmth of soup after dancing through chilly rain, the joy of a surprising snowfall, or the gentle stillness of reading in the spring woods. Even kids who don't normally like poetry may find themselves enchanted by this "magical" (Kirkus Reviews) read. For another taste of stylized seasonal poetry, try Joyce Sidman's Red Sings from Treetops.

ksoles Oct 22, 2014

In a word: magical. With the help of his playful panda, Koo, Caldecott Honouree Jon Muth presents 26 moments through the seasons. He employs haiku, the poetic equivalent of a snapshot, as well as delicate watercolour illustrations to brilliantly capture the essence of nature.

Though light in tone and appealing to young readers, Muth's poetry deserves serious parsing. Deftly manipulating white space, the author adheres to haiku’s three-line form rather than its traditional five-seven-five syllabic sequence. “Autumn, / are you dreaming / of new clothes?” reads the text as Koo reaches up to catch a handful of falling leaves. More humorously, spring announces the end of cabin fever: “too much TV this winter / my eyes are square / let’s go Out and play.”

Children and adults will delight in the effect of condensed poetic images coupled with spare illustration.

BCD2013 Jun 09, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Beautiful and fun by turns, a series of small haikus sum up the beauty of the seasons, all thanks to a playful little panda bear and his two human friends.
- Betsy Bird

forbesrachel Apr 16, 2014

Koo joyously celebrates the seasons in haiku form. While not strictly adhering to the number count of traditional haiku, this modern version retains its essence by taking snapshots of time with a primary emphasis on nature. Each segment is a delicate piece of written art, simple, yet emotionally evocative. Koo and his friends are adorable as they play in both silly scenes, and awe-inspiring settings. With every moment enjoyed to the fullest.

Watercolours grace these pages with their soft touch, painting life into nature. The seasons progress from fall through to summer, building towards a more colourful palette. At its climax, the author ends with the most beautiful portrait of all. This final image stops what would be a never-ending cycle of seasons. Its final message on the "quiet" time, brings a sense of closure to us readers who were floating higher and higher on its words.

Like any haiku, these require reflection to understand them to their fullest. While the images will easily please younger children, they may find difficulty in making sense of the unusual structure. However, older children will find great pleasure in this meaningful text that evokes memory. Muth captures both the beauty and joy that is found in each season, equally with his words and art.

Apr 12, 2014

cute book and illustrations


April is Poetry Month and in an era of blackout poems, spine poetry, reversos, and whatever it is Bob Raczka was doing in Lemonade (is there even a term for it?) we can afford to shake things up for our kids a little. Give haiku back its gravitas, and give your kids a book that also happens to be really fun (not to mention beautiful) as well.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8


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Twenty-six haikus spotlight four different seasons. In the book, a panda cub named Koo and two human siblings explore fall, winter, spring and autumn in a myriad of different ways. From a snowball on a stop sign (“are we in trouble?”) to act of accidentally killing a bug (“afterward / feeling alone and Sad”) the haikus do double duty as both poems and, depending on which word is capitalized, a tour of the alphabet. Inspired by his own young twins, Muth, with seeming effortlessness, brings to young readers a fellow traveler.


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“becoming so quiet / Zero sound / only breath.”


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