Friday, April 25, 2014

Review of If It Rains Pancakes:Haiku and Lantern Poems

If It Rains Pancakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems
by Brian P. Cleary
Illustrated by Andy Rowland
Published by Millbrook Press
Expected publication May 1, 2014
32 pages
Genre: Poetry
Disclosure: Review copy provided by

Brian Cleary introduces the reader to the ancient poetry forms of haiku and lantern poetry in this colorful and fun collection. The book is divided into two sections dedicated to each of the two types of poems. He briefly describes a bit of history behind each form and directions for writing them at the beginning of each section. The poems cover many different topics from classic nature-themed poems to a pig doing karate. 

My Thoughts
I enjoyed reading this short book of poems. The variety and humor will interest young readers as will the colorful, cartoonish illustrations. Cleary lists a variety of helpful resources for teachers and parents to use in the back of the book. I would use this book to introduce students to haiku and lantern poems or as part of a poetry unit for grades 2-5.
Here is one of my favorite haiku's from page 17 called The Mind.

The Mind
Memory is like
a room where tiny boxes
hold our yesterdays.

Companion Texts


  1. I love this little book. I had not heard of the three you compare this too, as companions. I will look into those. I love finding poetry for kids. There is a lot more now than in the past and I think it is well over due. Thanks for the nice review. I, too, am a "late bloomer" learning to re-love children's books, particularly picture books (which I adore) and middle grade novels (the writing seems much more intense than I remember as a kid).

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting Sue! I absolutely agree about middle grade novels. There are some great ones out there.