Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons

Spring 2014 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: John J. Muth
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0545166683
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Author/illustrator Jon J Muth (Zen Shorts) observes the seasons in gently celebratory, relaxed haikus that capture a child's-eye "moment of emotion." Youngest readers will enjoy discovering how the alphabet runs through the book, too, thanks to one capitalized letter in each of the 26 poems. The main character, a cuddly, round and observant panda, joins human friends in games of tic-tac-toe, headstands and snow play. He wonders at fireflies, new grass, morning crocuses and a flashlight's "sparkle in Puddles," and can breathe in stillness, making "Zero sound," while a little bird nests on his head. Muth's subtle watercolor and ink illustrations convey a sense of play, the wonder of nature and even—in a poem involving a bug's demise—a bit of existential contemplation.

Lynne Heffley   ©2014 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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