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Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)
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Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  282 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
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, fr
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 15th 2007 by Clarion Books
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Jul 23, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: verse, picture-books

Look, Ma! I learned something new today! :)

Tap Dancing on the Roof is a beautiful and creative collection of sijo poems by Linda Sue Park. Sijo is a type of Korean poetry similar to haiku’s syllabic structure and style, but with a surprise and twist at the end. The lines always end with a smile, pun, or idea to make readers think.

These pages come alive with poems and pictures ranging from inspirational and silly to profound and creepy. I devoured every word! The language will tickle all your sen
Jan 25, 2009 Kandace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: asian-american
Linda Sue Park introduces the Korean form of poetry, sijo, in “Tap Dancing on the Roof.” Park explains that sijo has a fixed number of stressed syllables divided into three or six lines. Sijo is similar to haiku, except that it always has a surprise, unexpected twist or joke at the end. For example…

Long Division

This number gets a wall and a ceiling. Nice and comfy in there.
But a bunch of other numbers are about to disrupt the peace—
Bumping the wall, digging up the cellar, tap dancing on the roof
Hannah Cooke
Apr 18, 2016 Hannah Cooke rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
This book is full of clever poems called Sijo. I was drawn to this book because of its title. I have danced my entire life and tap dancing is my favorite. I thought this might be a poetry book about tap dancing, but I wasn't that disappointed when I found out it wasn't because it is still such an enjoyable book. I have not heard about Sijo, so this book exposed me to a new form of poetry. It highlights its origin, history, and form, and it provides lots of examples that are organized by topic, e ...more
May 31, 2009 Luann rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, childrens, 2009
This was fun! I had never heard of Sijo before, and Linda Sue Park gives a very nice introduction to it - both in her introduction and her author's note. She also gives a list of tips for writing your own sijo. I thought the illustrations were just okay. Some were cute, but nothing spectacular.

Sijo is similar to haiku with a syllabic structure, yet each line in the poem has its own purpose. The first line introduces the topic, the second develops the topic further, and the third always contains
Nov 17, 2009 Bernice rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This wonderful poetry book is written in Sijo, a type of poem originating from Korea. A sijo is a fixed number of stressed syllables, usually divided into three or six lines. What a great activity for students! We so often teach students about Haikus, but rarely hear about Sijos. I loved reading these miniture poems. They all have a surprise or unique twist or joke at the end. They're so creative and imaginative. The simplistic illustrations add a quirky touch to the book. This was the first tim ...more
Nissa Annakindt
This is a book of sijo poems for children. Sijo are a Korean poetic form, similar to haiku, but longer.

The poems in this book deal with things that a child would identify with, and yet they are quality sijo worthy of adult attention as well.

Here is one example poem:


Everyone wants to get the ball,
run with it, and score a goal.
But when we win one-nothing,
that "nothing" means everything.

It's tough, playing for nothing.
Defense: Intense immense suspense.

In addition to the poems, the back of t
Maria Andrade
Apr 22, 2014 Maria Andrade rated it really liked it
The book provided several sijo poems about personal experience, relationships, and everyday moments. Sijo is a traditional Korean form of poetry, almost similar to that of a haiku. Through the flipping of each page students are able to make personal connections to the poems addressed in each poem of the book. The poems write about breakfast, shower, brushing teeth, and even randomly a poem on frogs and souvenirs. An introduction to shijo poems would benefit students of all ages to grasp the basi ...more
Catharine Keeffe
Mar 24, 2014 Catharine Keeffe rated it it was amazing
A very cool book that displays a different type of poetry! This book includes a Korean type of poetry which is fun and also students will love it because they are short and simple!
This book is filled with witty and fun Korean Sijo peotry. This is a great introductory book to poetry that does not rhyme. I would use this in an early childhood or elementary classroom.
Jul 18, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
I'm not a big fan of poetry, but this kept me reading all the way to the end! And I LOVE the artwork. Subtly humorous and heart-warming, much like the poems.
Jul 25, 2014 Tristan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, childrens
A fabulous fluff book. Each and every poem is a modern English example of the classical Korean form of poetry called sijo. All of them are short, pithy, and end with a twist: think the very best haiku, but about anything(not just nature) and slightly longer. These particular sijo, being written for young readers, were light and funny: my favorites were "Long Division" and "Breakfast" but they were all good. This would be a great way to share the joy of poetry with little kids, especially for the ...more
Gretchelle A
Feb 11, 2016 Gretchelle A rated it liked it
Shelves: 5-poetry-books, lit-1
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cierra Henderson
May 30, 2016 Cierra Henderson rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of fun poems for kids to read about. There really isn't much of a story line, but more random poems. It is done in Sijo which is Korean poetry so there is a cultural difference. The illustrations vary in that some are black and white, others are color. Most don't have too much detail to them, but there are pages with random pieces all over such as on the cover. I really enjoyed this poem because it was fun and I enjoyed the cultural information of different types of poems. I ...more
It was fun to be introduced to another poetry form - sijo from Korea. It has three lines with 14-16 syllables or stresses. I appreciate that the last line has a twist or a bit of humor. I am glad I finally picked this one up. In the author's note at the end she explains that there are actually quite a few of these that have been written by women throughout history - since it was something that the palace courtesans would write. Kind of cool though I am not truly wanting to define courtesan for m ...more
Mary Ann
May 22, 2009 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing
Tap Dancing on the Roof is a collection of original poems written in the Sijo style, a traditional Korean form. The poems are funny, but it a way that makes kids think and then laugh. All of these poems have a twist in the last line. Here's an example of one of our favorites in our family:


For this meal, people like what they like, the same every morning.
Toast and coffee. Bagel and juic. Cornflakes and milk in a white bowl.

Or -- warm, soft, and delicious -- a few extrea minutes in bed.
Mar 28, 2008 Tracy rated it really liked it
This is another book that is a pleasure to hold as well as read. The format is square and smaller than most picture books. Inside, the paper is of good quality and provides a nice gleam to the whimsical illustrations.

Linda Sue Park introduces young readers to a Korean form of poetry, sijo. They are short poems that try to end with an unexpected, sometimes funny, twist at the end. The poems provide plenty of material for the Hungarian illustrator, Istvan Banyai. His figures barely stay on the pa
Amy Adams
Aug 17, 2014 Amy Adams rated it it was amazing
This was a pretty cool little book. Think of a haiku. Now, give it a kick and double or triple it in size. Now you've got sijo! The poems were pretty funny, and the whole book was definitely interesting. I love the ones that ended with puns or that were particularly funny. Of course, they all have a little twist, which makes each one fun and unique.
The author's note in the back makes the book even easier to access and to incorporate into a lesson plan. This could definitely be a fun one for a c
Feb 22, 2016 Kerfe rated it really liked it
Shelves: visual-arts, poetry
Sijo is a Korean form of poetry, similar to haiku. It can be either 3 or 6 lines, and is structured through stressed syllable rather than rhyme. The last line contains a comment on the earlier lines, a surprise.

Park's book is meant for children, but the subjects and illustrations are a delight for all ages.

The book includes explanations and instructions for composing your own sijo poems.
May 15, 2016 Haizelbear rated it liked it
Shelves: ed-230h
This book is filled with Sijo poems about many different topics. Some of the focuses of the poems include long division, school lunches, art class, and different months. The poems are supposed to include "a surprise, an unexpected twist, or joke, at the end." but I didn't always see those qualities present. The illustrations were "executed digitally". I would use this book to teach about how there are a lot of different types of poetry, and how some types originate in different cultures.
May 28, 2016 W A F F L E S rated it really liked it
20/85. Tap Dancing on the Roof is a collection of sijos, or traditional Korean poetry (Could be the Korean equivalent of Japan's haiku). It was short and sweet. I was actually smiling the whole time while reading it. The illustrations are really cute and just simply added to the sweetness of this book.
Oct 16, 2015 Judy rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book of sijo, a form of Korean poetry. Linda Sue Park's pieces may be aimed at children but are delightful for any reader. The poems' imagery is enhanced by simple, clever illustrations. The book includes an explanation of sijo as well as tips on writing it. Quite fun.
Rachel Pence
Oct 13, 2013 Rachel Pence rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
"Tap Dancing on the Roof" by Linda Sue Park is a poetry book. This style of poetry she uses is Sijo, which Linda Park’s gives an example of what it is so that the reader will know what to expect. Sijo is a poem that started in Korea. It is a fixed number of stressed syllables used in three or six lines. Sijo’s are different than Haihu’s because Sijo’s have a surprise ending at the end of them (joke or twist). I think that any child would like this poetry book because it is fun for children of an ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it
I've never really heard of sijo before... but finding this e-book randomly I decided to read it, and I was not disappointed at all. Such an interesting form of poetry, because I've only heard of Haiku, Renga and Tanka which are Traditional Japanese forms of poetry.
Sijo poems--who knew? The Korean cousin of Japanese haiku, sijo has a fixed number of stressed syllables, but ends with an unexpected twist or joke. This collection ranges from lighthearted and lively to serious and contemplative.
Apr 08, 2014 Rebecca marked it as to-read
"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."
May 16, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it
Could see this as a form of teaching kids another form of verse, but this wouldn't be one that I could see kids seeking this book out. I didn't find the poems to be that inviting.
Sep 07, 2008 Sylvia rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Buku puisi nih. Disebutnya Sijo. Apa itu sijo? Semacam puisi tradisional yang asalnya dari Korea. Seperti Haiku gitu deh, tapi di sijo ada kejutan di endingnya.

Jadi sijo itu biasanya terdiri dari tiga baris. Baris pertama memperkenalkan topik, baris kedua mengembangkan baris pertama, dan baris ketiga biasanya berisi kejutan seperti humor atau ironi, atau permainan kata-kata.

Nih contohnya:

Summer Storm

Lightning jerks the sky awake to take her photograph, flash!
Which draws grumbling complaints or
joana marie
Jul 16, 2015 joana marie rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I'm obviously unfamiliar with Sijo but it's fascinating anyway. Illustrations are cute but it just didn't seem remarkable to me.
Linh Tong
Nov 22, 2012 Linh Tong rated it liked it
Shelves: korean, culture, poetry
This book introduces an important aspect of Korean culture to children, which is the Sijo. Sijo is a form of poetry, similar to the Japanese Haiku. The book has a short, easy-to-read paragraph at the beginning of the book that tells children about what the Sijo is about,and how it came to be in the Korean culture. The book doesn’t have a specific plot, but it has a compilation of poems about everyday life that would be interesting and relatable to children. It includes poems about lunch, art cla ...more
Norah Almusharraf
Jun 05, 2014 Norah Almusharraf rated it liked it
What the thing that I like it in this book is the Korean poem style. Also, the poems that about different life style are very surprising. The writer has an ability of rising up the reader thinking and wondering. I think teacher could use this book in poetry and writing classes.
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Linda Sue Park is a Korean American author of children's fiction. Park published her first novel, Seesaw Girl, in 1999. To date, she has written six children’s novels and five picture books for younger readers. Park’s work achieved prominence when she received the prestigious 2002 Newbery Medal for her novel A Single Shard.

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