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GUYKU: A Year of Haiku for Boys
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GUYKU: A Year of Haiku for Boys

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  763 ratings  ·  186 reviews
The wind and I play
tug-of-war with my new kite.
The wind is winning.

When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to swordfight with in the winter.
Nature also has a way of making a guy appreciate important stuff—like h
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 4th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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I am generally suspicious of anything that claims to be "for boys" or "for girls." At the same time, as I am raising my little son, I am always on the lookout for positive images of masculinity. So I figured I should give Guyku a read. In the end, it turned out to be what I feared: a book of poetry that ought to be accessible to every child artificially limited in its scope to exclude half of them. The haiku in the book depict little boys playing in the woods, running around outside, and general ...more
There’s been a lot of discussion lately about getting guys to read. Little guys, that is. The figuring is that if you don’t rope boys into the wild world of books while they’re young, you may lose them entirely once they’ve passed the point of no return (say, seventeen or so). So all sort of initiatives have sprung up with dudes in mind. An entire cottage industry, you might say, has surrounded the publication of male-centric fare, and I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point you hear about a Ge ...more
Author Bob Raczka's book is a collection of haikus that begin in the spring and end with winter. These wonderful haikus are eventuated beautifully by illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. I'm more familiar with Reynolds works, The Dot and Ish and love his cartoon like drawings which in this case really capture the seasons. It's a beautiful mixture of art and poetry.

"how many million
flakes will it take to make a
snow day tomorrow?

Love it!!"
Guyku was written by Bob Raczka. In the very back of the book he explains that he wrote this book because he’s a “guy”. He’s a “guy” that happens to love haiku’s. He talks about his love of nature and how as a boy he spent a great deal of time outside with his friends. He relates his love of nature for his love of haiku’s because they too are an observation of nature, and nature is a place where guys love to be.

I loved this book because it reminded me of growing up and being outside all day unti
To be honest, I almost passed over this book because of the title. I assumed haiku for boys might focus on silly, gross-out humor or sports. However, once I opened the book and gave it a chance I was pleasantly surprised. Raczka's collection of haiku is well written and fun with the illustrations add to the collection. Raczka keeps many of the traditional conventions of haiku--finding the beauty in the every day, appreciating nature, and bringing in the seasons, while capturing the playful spiri ...more
Joanna Marple
Gorgeous, reflective poetry. While the title is clever these are definitely haiku for girls and boys (and adults!)
Bob Raczka captures a boys' appreciation of nature through haiku poems. He takes you through each season and captures the special moments in life. Being a mother of a mischievous three-year old, I can relate to the thoughts and actions shared by the author. I found myself laughing throughout the book.
This is a great mentor text to demonstrate haiku writing. Elementary children can easily relate to the poems and they are fun to read. The boys' expressions help the reader connect to the poems wit
A dream pairing: Bob Raczka and Peter Reynolds. A series of boys travel through the year, one season at a time, enjoying Nature and boyhood. Raczka's poems evoke the playfulness of boys as they put pennies on railroads tracks, throw snowballs at trees, and catch grasshoppers. Reynolds' illustrations include brown, white, and one other color for each season.

My favorite:

With the ember end
of my long marshmallow stick,
I draw on the dark.

I will definitely share this book with my boy students, who t
About time. Maybe it is titled for boys, but I think men of all ages will resonate with the little-boy pleasure of these short poems arranged by seasons of the year. I don't know how rigidly the creators followed all the rules of the form, but they do hold to the basic structure. And the drawings are amusing and good companions to the verse. My favorite:
Hey, who turned off all
the crickets? I'm not ready
for summer to end.

(First read in January 13, 2013 - have no recollection of that)
Julia Drescher
I picked this book up because Peter H. Reynolds is the illustrator. I have read The Dot and Ish, and love the illustrations. They are so unique and make the text come to life while not being overpowering. The text of this book along with the illustrations was great. The book is broken into four parts, one for each season. A boy participated in six activities during each season, and the author shares the activities in haiku form.

I feel that there is sometimes an unfair stigma put on poetry. Some
Peter H. Reynolds' art is the magic element for me, but I'm always game for some haiku.

"With baseball cards and
clothespins, we make our bikes sound
like motorcycles."

"Pine tree invites me
to climb him up to the sky
How can I refuse?"

"Hey, Who turned off all
the crickets? I'm not ready
for summer to end."
"I watch the worms squirm
and decide to bait my hook
with hot dog instead."

Funny, accessible haiku aimed at boys but enjoyable for us outdoorsy girls, too! Great illustrations with plenty of white space, excellent poetry - this is how to get kids hooked.
My son loved this book, and reminded us of a few adventures we have already had together, but more importantly gave us a few ideas of outdoor activities for the future.

I can recall doing most (if not all) of the things described in these stories, which made it all the more fun in the recalling and reading.

Guyku- a short book of Haiku's for boys/guys full of adventure perfectly described in a witty comical manner. It then goes on to describe the formula for writing your own haikus (for those of
Karen Arendt
I absolutely love this book! And, I didn't always like poetry, either. The haikus so exactly catch boyhood behavior! The illustrations are perfect, too! I love Peter H. Reynolds book, Ish and The Dot. He makes art fun!
I laughed out loud. I flashed back to my childhood. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying these experiences of a boy's life crystallized into words. The tone of the illustrations matches the haiku perfectly.
Seasonal haikus aimed at and funny poems. Check out website. I used this book for a kids program and we wrote some great winter haikus about polar bears and hot chocolate.
Feras Nasser
The takeaway of this book bears on adventures during outside activities for boys in the four seasons. It tells about specific activities during each season, e.g. examining a clear sky during a summer night and piling leaves to bury oneself in during autumn.

I can use this book to demonstrate to my students that outside activities can be adventurous, educational, fun, enriching, and useful to our mental and physical developments. Put differently, I will encourage my students to play outside with t
Wonderful poetry perfectly matched to delightful illustrations. Perfect for guys AND girls everywhere. Loved the author and illustrator notes at the end too.
A silly little book of haiku for boys. My son loved it and he usually doesn't enjoy poetry.
Lauren White
Good for grades k-5. Title is misleading-good for ALL children
I love the simplicity of these poems that capture real experience.
Haiku for boys!! LOVE!
Is there a better form of poetry for observing things in nature than haiku? Things like icicle sword fights, bloodthirsty mosquitos, and monumental leaf piles. Why,’s Guyku!

Guyku, written by Bob Raczka, is a book of Haiku written specifically for boys. The book is divided into four sections mirroring the seasons with Raczka sharing his feeling that “when you’re a guy, nature is one big playground” through his clever and often funny verses: “If this puddle could/talk, I think it would t
Jane Jergensen
Bob Raczka takes the traditional elements of haiku; the observation of nature, written in present tense, and the 5-7-5 syllable pattern and uses examples of the fun that boys (and girls) can have playing outside with no technology involved to create GUYKU. The reader is taken on a yearlong journey through the seasons. Carefree days filled with flying kites, skipping rocks, building snowmen, and playing with friends are recurring themes the reader will find throughout the book. All of the haikus ...more
Genre: Junior Book - Poetry

Summary: This book tells a year of stories for boys. The book is split into seasons: summer, fall, winter and spring. The haiku poems are written in the standard haiku format of 3 lines containing syllable counts of 5, 7, 5. The poems are related to things boys experience in nature during the four seasons.

Critique: (a)This book finds its strength in content of the book. The haiku's are wonderful and imaginative.
(b)This book is extremely appropriate when teaching or
1. Poetry
2. Everyday “boy” activities are captured in haiku form in this humorous picture book of poems.
3. A. Content
B. If I recall correctly, my professor spoke on this book in a lecture and said that some girls didn’t like the fact that this book is geared towards guys and wanted a “Girlku” of sorts. Honestly, I have to disagree with this controversial issue. In my education classes, I have learned that boys tend not to read as much as girls. As a future teacher, I know it is my job to try to
Genre: Junior, Poetry


Each season is introduced in the book and what follows are haiku pertaining to both that season and to the intended audience, boys. The subjects of the haiku range from grasshoppers to helicopters, splashing your sister and sword fighting with icicles. In using the haiku format on each page the text is predictable, but centers of actions and concepts that are funny and entertaining for a young male reader.


The chosen font is reminiscent of bamboo brush stroke
This book is a collection of 24 Haiku poems geared towards boys, and is organized by the four seasons. Each season has it’s own color theme green for spring, yellow for summer, brown for fall, and blue for winter. According to Raczka’s introduction, “When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground- no matter what the season.” The simple watercolor illustrations compliment each poem.
Many of the poems have a humorous line.
The wind and I play
Tug-of-war with my new kite
The wind is winning.

Amy Musser
This collection of 24 haikus is divided into sections for each of the four seasons, starting with spring and ending with winter. As Racka points out in his author’s note, haikus are written in present tense and all of the poems in this book feature present tense activities. Reynold’s simply colored illustrations show the boys in this collection in constant motion; they fly kites, climb trees, rake leaves, and have icicle sword fights. As well as being concise and clever observations, many of the ...more
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