Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)

by Linda Sue Park and Istvan Banyai

“Lightning jerks the sky awake to take her photograph, flash! / Which... read more

“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.” (“Summer Storm”) Linda Sue Park explains in her introduction that sijo is a traditional type of Korean poetry featuring three lines—one to introduce a topic, one to develop it, and the third to add a twist. Each line is fourteen to sixteen syllables (sometimes these are divided to make a poem of six shorter lines). Park’s playful collection of sijo will have readers looking at the world in new ways, or pondering their own possible twists and turns of perception. Her poems focus on nature or everyday objects and events in children’s lives (bedtime, teethbrushing, pockets, school lunch). Istvan Banyai’s illustrations are largely literal interpretations achieved in a spare, whimsical graphic style. (Ages 8–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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