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The Haiku Zoo

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Best Children's Animal Book

Best Illustrated Children's Ebook

Best Illustrated Children's Ebook

Story Monster Approved Award

Bull Terrier Gift

Welcome to the Haiku Zoo!

Meet Lion, the first animal we’ll visit on our trip to the Haiku Zoo.

Featuring fantastic illustrations from Dunstan Carter and stunning Haiku from Mark Watson, here comes a brand new twist on the short, Japanese poetry form, the Haiku.

A delightful new animal books series by Mark Watson, author of the multi-award-winning, bestselling children’s picture books “Milo & Ze”, “The Shark in the Park”, “The Travelling Circus” and “The Hairy Fairy”.

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Gallery and Reviews

‘If he was a man, I think he’d be President, with big, wavy hair.’

By Grady Harp

British author Mark Watson first came to prominence in 2012 with his award-winning book, "The Shark in the Park". His second book, "Milo & Ze", featuring the adventures of the loneliest little bull terrier puppy dog in the world become a worldwide smash and won an IPPY, Moonbeam and Readers' Favorite Gold award for best illustrated children's picture book. Originally from Burnley in Lancashire, Mark now lives in Spain with his wife and son. In this new venture he is ably accompanied by illustrator Dunstan Carter and the two of them present not only another fine children’s book, but also a book that teaches the meaning of Haiku poetry.

Before inviting us into the zoo to meet Lion, Mark explains the art of Haiku – ‘A Haiku is a very short poem with only three lines. To understand how a Haiku works we need to know what a syllable is. A syllable is a unit of pronunciation, a piece of a word. Each piece is one vowel sound, ignoring the consonants. So, “Lion” has two syllables. “Boom” has one syllable. “Integrity” has four syllables. Now we know what a syllable is the next thing we need to know is the form of a Haiku. A Haiku must only have three lines. Each line has a number of syllables. The first line has five syllables. The second line has seven syllables. The third line also only has five syllables. So a Haiku has a total of only seventeen syllables.’

Now we are all on the same page and the book begins. Each beautifully illustrated page obeys the haiku rule – only three lines to describe the image For example:
Jungle Royalty
Lord of the dark continent
captivating king.

Or (incorporating contemporary images of cell phones):
Grey green eyes glowing
bristling, gold for blowing
waving tufted tail.

And of course, having read Mark’s books, the reader can expect a lot of humor (“When the sun comes up you’ll find him in the bathroom, shampooing his mane’) and a nice touch of political jibes!

Mark Watson continues to grow as a writer and an entertainer – his books are a joy on every level!

Many levels of lovely

By Neil coles

It's always a nice surprise to find a book for little people which ticks all the boxes and "The Haiku Zoo" by Mark Watson and Dunstan Carter most certainly does. Not only is it beautifully illustrated and fun to read but also full of wit (both written word and visually) and there is even a nod to contemporary political zeitgeist thrown in for good measure. The book does a great job of explaining the Haiku to the young reader and then delivers witty example after witty example throughout. If you have Little people in your life I highly recommend you grab yourself a copy.

Eye catching illustrations

By Catherine Carter

This is a great book for children. The haikus are witty and the illustrations excellent. Really eye catching and kids love them.

Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite

The Haiku Zoo: The Haiku Zoo Book 1: Lion by Mark Watson was a fun little read. This book is the first in the Haiku Zoo series and focuses on a lion. The story is written as a Haiku, which is a Japanese poem. I chose to read The Haiku Zoo: The Haiku Zoo Book 1: Lion with my 6-year-old daughter because she loves animals. Her impression of the book was that she liked it. She loved the illustrations and loved looking at all the funny stuff the lion was doing in the pictures. Her favorite picture was when the lion drew the smiley face with toothpaste. She did not understand the Haiku side of it, but she was able to read the story with ease. Her one wish is that there be a flamingo book in this series!

My opinion is that I like how Watson is trying to educate children on poetry. I did not know what a Haiku was myself before reading this book. I also enjoyed the illustrations, they were very clever. In the back of the book Watson includes some helpful ideas for teachers to use in the classroom. Although Watson explained how to write a Haiku, I think I would still need help to attempt one! I think that this would be an excellent book for teachers to use. I liked that Watson explained how to create a Haiku. I do hope that this series continues. My daughter is looking forward to seeing what other animals will be written about.

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