Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku


Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

This picture book is told in a series of haiku poems.  The poems form the only text in the book, charmingly telling the tale of Won Ton, a cat saved from the animal shelter by a boy and his family.  Once rescued, Won Ton demonstrates that he is pure cat.  His aloof yet cozy manner is captured to perfection here in the poems.  The book is in turns touching, beautiful, wistful and very funny.

Wardlaw’s haiku read as if they were effortlessly written.  In a few words and syllables, he captures the life of a cat and the humor of life.  It is a book that celebrates poetry, making it approachable and understandable for children.  At the same time, he speaks to the power and connection in animal adoption. 

Yelchin has illustrated the book with a playful flair.  The graphite and gouache illustrations are bright and large, making them well suited to sharing with a group.  Anyone with a cat in their lives will recognize the poses, the reactions and the attitude that Won Ton displays.

A perfect book to share in a poetry unit, this book is appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt and Company.

Also reviewed by Fuse #8 and Wild Geese Guides.

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