About the Holiday
Small things are amazing—and surprising! We all know good things come in small packages, and just look at the wisdom, humor, and capacity for love of children. The same goes for haiku—the smallest form of poetry in size but never in impact. Coming mid-way through National Poetry Month, today’s holiday shines a spotlight on the haiku. The simple 5-7-5 rule that we all learn in school doesn’t begin to define the complexity of these three-line beauties that distill the world into little nuggets that make readers see life in amazing and surprising ways.
Written by Danna Smith | Illustrated by Teagan White
In this beautiful board book, little ones are taken through an auditory and visual wonderland from winter through spring, summer, and fall as two mice visit woodland, meadow, garden, and aquatic creatures to play, discover, and celebrate the changing seasons.
Each of Danna Smith’s haiku verses surprises, sparkling with lovely alliteration and evocative language that invites young readers to anticipate and predict who will appear when the flaps on the facing page are lifted. Smith’s giggly humor and exceptional imagination elevate readers’ experience as she deftly uses games and experiences familiar to children (hide-and-seek, confetti, splashing in water, and lullabies to name a few) in ways that will spark creative thinking and bond them to the natural world. As late fall with its nighttime frost appears in the last spread, Smith’s gentle, sleepy verse welcomes little ones to drift off to dream along with the two snuggled up mice.
Any book illustrated by Teagan White is a treasure, and in Peek-a-Boo Haiku, she populates Smith’s various habitats with adorable, yet realistic animals that will charm little readers and adults alike. White’s glorious colors add breathtaking beauty to her gorgeously detailed pages. Each spread is a tiny masterpiece that gives children and adults much to discover and talk about as they move through the seasons. The final spread, washed in somnolent shades of twilight, puts little ones in the mind for sleep, just as the owl snugged into its tree-trunk nest. Kids will enjoy finding the mice (appearing alone or together, allowing the youngest children to engage with the idea of one and/or two) in each spread, and the variety of creatures, plants, and environments provide a wealth of learning, from vocabulary to math to science, for a wide-range of ages and development.
Exquisite in every way, Peek-a-Boo Haiku is a book adults and children will love to share again and again and is a perfect choice as a gift for special occasions, baby showers, new siblings, or simply to add to a child’s bookshelf. This superlative board book also belongs in all preschool and kindergarten classrooms as well as school and library collections.
Ages Birth to 5
Little Simon, 2023 | ISBN 978-1665926461
About the Author
Danna Smith is a poet and award-winning author of numerous books for children, including One Blue Gnu; Rooftop Garden; Wake Up, Freight Train!; and several Little Golden Books. Her nonfiction picture book, The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry, received two starred reviews and is a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year. Danna currently lives in northern California, where she is hard at work on her next book. For more information about her books and teaching activities, visit her website at DannaSmithBooks.com.
About the Illustrator
Teagan White is an artist and author who creates playful watercolor scenes of the natural world and the friendly creatures who inhabit it. Teagan lives in Oregon, enjoys visiting seagulls at the beach, and has illustrated nine picture books. Find out more at TinyMothStudios.com.
Take a Peek at this Peek-a-Boo Haiku Book Trailer!
National Haiku Day Activities
Woodland animals love to play hide-and-seek in trees, behind logs and rocks, under bushes, and in all sorts of places. This Peek-a-Boo Haiku Memory Game lets little ones find matching pairs of animals while building observation skills and having lots of fun!
Young children will enjoy writing their own haiku from what they see in nature with this adorable Write a Haiku Page that gets them thinking and using their imagination.
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