It’s not often that the combination of picture book and haiku get “mashed-up.” Andrew Clements used a series of haikus to tell his story, Dogku but as endearing as the book is, those were more a series of poems fit to describe the dog and his family. In Won Ton, Wardlaw is able to tell the story using only haiku and it doesn’t seem stilted or strained—not that Clements’ did, it was wonderful, too.
There’s nothing revolutionary about the story. Won Ton, a cat, finds himself in an animal shelter, is finally adopted by a family, reluctantly settles in and becomes the “ruler of the roost.” Don’t get me wrong, he is a cat of great personality and definite opinions. He’s very “cat-like” and engaging.
It’s the haiku though, that makes the whole thing work. The short, precise form fits perfectly with the cat’s “thoughts” and actions. It will also appeal to those youngsters who need shorter but fulfilling texts. All in all, just like the boy in the book, you’ll be beguiled by Won Ton, a new friend you’ll want to visit over and over again.
Posted by: Eileen