Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Review of Wonton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw

Wonton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku
by Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Published March, 2015  
Henry Holt and Co. 
Fiction Picture Book
40 pages
Review copy provided by Blueslip Media

We first met and fell in love with Won-Ton the cat in Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku where he was adopted from an animal shelter. In this book, Wonton laments the arrival of a new puppy. The puppy comes with new toys, eats Won-ton's food and worst of all, takes the attention of his boy. Won-ton tries to teach the puppy the rules of the house without much luck and usually ends up being put outside for his efforts. Will Won-ton have a change of heart and accept this new member of the family?

My Thoughts
Lee Wardlaw is a master at telling stories in seamless haiku. I am not an animal owner, but one can easily imagine this rivalry through her description. She also does not shy away from using rich vocabulary throughout the book as seen in this haiku. 

Picket fence lament:
Woe is meeee-ow! The crowd howls,
Cue for an encore

What a great way to introduce children to wonderful new words! Illustrator Eugene Yelchin fills each page with color and soft background details while keeping the focus on our two main characters.  

Won-ton and Chopstick lends itself to discussions about conflict resolution, jealousy, and dealing with changes with young children. I can imagine the stories many students will want to tell about their own pets' behaviors. It would also be a fantastic way to show haiku used not just in isolation, but to tell a story. Perhaps the students will want to try telling their own stories in haiku. I would recommend Won-ton and Chopstick to children in grades 1-5. 

See what others have to say about Won-ton and Chopstick

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