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

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,103 Ratings  ·  242 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—lik
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 4th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Shanna Author: Bob Raczka
Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds

Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poems
A nice reflection of my own son from when he was younger.
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
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!!"
Jason Beyer
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are many things I love about this book. But... my daughter loves to do all of these things. I understand the desire to get boys into poetry but my daughter hates poetry as well! Or she thinks that she does at least. Reynolds talks in the back of the book about defying stereotypes, meaning the notion that boys shouldn't like poetry, but this book is really all about defining them.
Lorie Barber
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautiful haiku mentor texts, but I'm finding myself troubled by the "boys only" idea.
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit, poetry
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)
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Karen Arendt
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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!
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.
Tania Roberts
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely cannot give this book enough stars! Clever, expertly written Haikus portraying some of the best things boys love to explore in nature. The simple, yet powerful illustrations enhance the magic of this book. So excited to find a poetry book tailored specifically for little boys!
Faith Tydings
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an amazingly clever, creative and fun book. I had to laugh out loud at certain pages because it is so true and reminded me so much of my own boys. Great book for boys...and, really, anyone!
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, read-2011, clau
I love the simplicity of these poems that capture real experience.
Dec 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful poetry perfectly matched to delightful illustrations. Perfect for guys AND girls everywhere. Loved the author and illustrator notes at the end too.
Joanna Marple
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous, reflective poetry. While the title is clever these are definitely haiku for girls and boys (and adults!)
Lauren White
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good for grades k-5. Title is misleading-good for ALL children
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A silly little book of haiku for boys. My son loved it and he usually doesn't enjoy poetry.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-poetry
Haiku for boys!! LOVE!
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, j-non-fiction
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I read this today for Poetry Tea Time with my 4 year old son and 8 year old daughter. We definitely talked about how my daughter could and has done every single one of those things. Then we talked about how brother could easily be switched to sister in the haiku and not change the syllables and the meaning would be the same. We then read the authors reason for writing the book. Poetry IS often seen as a girl thing and he wanted to make it more accessible and acceptable to guys. Reality is there ...more
Cindy Hudson
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What do you have when you write a poem that’s three lines long, a total of 17 syllables, and it speaks about something a guy would do? Guyku, of course. Bob Raczka, who wrote Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys, says “haiku is a wonderful form of poetry for guys” who like to catch bugs, climb trees, skip stones and throw snowballs.

The haiku here is divided into seasons, highlighting lots of different activities kids can do in nature.

Here’s a sample from spring:

The wind and I play

tug-of-war with new
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a guy, but I read it with my little man. Last time we were at the library we stumbled upon the poetry section while searching for a biography. A few of them had to come home with us in the library bag in addition to the biographies that caught our eye. Thank goodness for library shelves. I didn't even know this book existed until that moment, but the illustrator is one of our favorites. Back to the story, he enjoyed the format. Broken into seasons, this is a collection of haiku poems abo ...more
Rachel D
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Guyku is a book of Haikus for boys. It follows a boy through all four season, and each page describes an adventure a book might take do during the corresponding season. What I thought when I was reading this book is what a great example for students to see if they are asked to write Haikus. Boys would be able to relate to this book easily (at any age) because the activities that the main character does are probably activities that boys have done before. This would be a great mentor text when wri ...more
Casey Cahoon
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Grade Level: 2nd (However, i would argue that it it is a great book for any age!)
Genre: Poetry, specifically Haiku's
Unique Feature: I choose to read this book because I had the awesome opportunity to meet the illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds via Skype at my Teacher Assisting placement. So now knowing who he is as a person my take on the book was probably much different than it would have been. I loved the poetry in this book and the fact that the author geared it towards young boys. He did this to
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