Similar to the Japanese haiku, the Korean sijo packs image, metaphor and surprise into three long (or six short) lines with a fixed number of syllables: "Lightning jerks the sky awake to take her photograph, flash!/ Which draws grumbling complaints or even crashing tantrums from thunder-/ He hates having his picture taken, so he always gets there late." Newbery Medalist Park's (A Single Shard) sijo skip lightly from breakfast ("warm, soft, and delicious-a few extra minutes in bed") to bedtime (about bathing: "From a tiled cocoon, a butterfly with terry-cloth wings"), with excursions to the backyard, the classroom, and the beach ("Are all the perfect sand dollars locked away somewhere-in sand banks?"). The sijo's contours are clean and spare, qualities echoed in the blue-gray, black and white architecture and crisp shadows of Banyai's (Zoom) digital illustrations. In the spirit of Park's experiments with this verse form, Banyai's miniature children bounce through a series of imaginative leaps unencumbered by the rules of the real world. They sleep in teacups, grow wings and fly among the flowers, snip mathematical equations to bits with gigantic pairs of scissors, and wreak havoc with bottles of ink. Park wants readers to try sijo for themselves, and in an extensive author's note she offers history, advice and encouragement; her own sijo and Banyai's cheeky images will supply the motivation. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)by Linda Sue Park
- LendMe LendMe™ Learn More
A sijo, a traditional Korean verse form, has a fixed number of stressed syllables and a humorous or ironic twist at the end. Like haiku, sijo are brief and accessible, and the witty last line winds up each poem with a surprise. The verses in this book illuminate funny, unexpected, amazing aspects of the everyday--of breakfast, thunder and lightning, houseplants, tennis, freshly laundered socks. Carefully crafted and deceptively simple, Linda Sue Park's sijo are a pleasure to read and an irresistible invitation to experiment with an unfamiliar poetic form. Istvan Banyai's irrepressibly giddy and sophisticated illustrations add a one-of-a-kind luster to a book that is truly a gem.
Sijo is a traditional Korean form of poetry that can take two different shapes, three lines or six lines, using a strict syllable count as haiku does but with distinct differences. All of the lines have a purpose: in a three-line poem, the first one would be the introduction, the second would continue the theme, and the third and final line holds a sort of punch line, be it a play on words or a whimsical observation. Park's sijo , 28 in all, harmonize with illustrations that are deceptively simple at first glance, but have a sophistication and wise humor that will make viewers smile, and at second glance make them think. The selections are thoughtful, playful, and quirky; they will resonate with youngsters and encourage both fledgling and longtime poets to pull out paper and pen. The author's note includes historical background on sijo , further-reading suggestions, and a helpful guide to writing in the form. A smart and appealing introduction to an overlooked poetic form.-Susan Moorhead, New Rochelle Public Library, NY
"Fresh and collegial, this offering stands out." Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Banyai's illustrations enhance the collection with an extra element of wit and imaginative freedom.
Park wants readers to try sijo for themselves, and in an extensive author's note she offers history, advice and encouagement.
A smart and appealing introduction to an overlooked poetic form.
School Library Journal, Starred
With this lighthearted collection of her own sijo, the form will take a flying leap into the consciousness of both children and teachers.
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 6 MB
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard, many other novels, and several picture books. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her family. For more information visit lspark.com.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
My name is Lisa and I am an advanced placement teacher for 4th 5th and 6th graders In ohio I have this book in my classroom and recommenrd it every year for my students to read over the summer the clever, funny, yet witty sijo's bring smiles to my classroom and when I work even with very young students they laugh and understand the age appropriate sijo's that any child can easily and happily understand! I love this book and it's a great read for all ages! Even 37! :)
I wish the sample included at least 1 actual poem as I am not familiar with this form of poetry.