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Tap dancing on the roof : sijo (poems)
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Author Notes
Linda Sue Park was born in Urbana, Illinois on March 25, 1960. She received a B.A. in English from Stanford University. After graduating, she worked as a public-relations writer for a major oil company for two years. She obtained advanced degrees in literature from Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland and from the University of London. Before becoming a full-time author, she held numerous jobs including working for an advertising agency, teaching English as a second language to college students, and working as a food journalist. Her first book, Seesaw Girl, was published in 1999. Her other books include The Kite Fighters, Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems), and A Single Shard, which won the 2002 Newbery Medal. She also wrote Storm Warning, which is the ninth book in the 39 Clues series. Her title A Long Walk to Water made the New York Times bestseller list. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
Stories in rhyme
Stories in rhyme
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Similar to the Japanese haiku, the Korean sijo packs image, metaphor and surprise into three long (or six short) lines with a fixed number of syllables: "Lightning jerks the sky awake to take her photograph, flash!/ Which draws grumbling complaints or even crashing tantrums from thunder-/ He hates having his picture taken, so he always gets there late." Newbery Medalist Park's (A Single Shard) sijo skip lightly from breakfast ("warm, soft, and delicious-a few extra minutes in bed") to bedtime (about bathing: "From a tiled cocoon, a butterfly with terry-cloth wings"), with excursions to the backyard, the classroom, and the beach ("Are all the perfect sand dollars locked away somewhere-in sand banks?"). The sijo's contours are clean and spare, qualities echoed in the blue-gray, black and white architecture and crisp shadows of Banyai's (Zoom) digital illustrations. In the spirit of Park's experiments with this verse form, Banyai's miniature children bounce through a series of imaginative leaps unencumbered by the rules of the real world. They sleep in teacups, grow wings and fly among the flowers, snip mathematical equations to bits with gigantic pairs of scissors, and wreak havoc with bottles of ink. Park wants readers to try sijo for themselves, and in an extensive author's note she offers history, advice and encouragement; her own sijo and Banyai's cheeky images will supply the motivation. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

  School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-6-Sijo is a traditional Korean form of poetry that can take two different shapes, three lines or six lines, using a strict syllable count as haiku does but with distinct differences. All of the lines have a purpose: in a three-line poem, the first one would be the introduction, the second would continue the theme, and the third and final line holds a sort of punch line, be it a play on words or a whimsical observation. Park's sijo, 28 in all, harmonize with illustrations that are deceptively simple at first glance, but have a sophistication and wise humor that will make viewers smile, and at second glance make them think. The selections are thoughtful, playful, and quirky; they will resonate with youngsters and encourage both fledgling and longtime poets to pull out paper and pen. The author's note includes historical background on sijo, further-reading suggestions, and a helpful guide to writing in the form. A smart and appealing introduction to an overlooked poetic form.-Susan Moorhead, New Rochelle Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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, freshly laundered socks. Carefully crafted and deceptively simple, Linda Sue Park's sijo are a pleasure to read and an irresistible invitation to experiment with an unfamiliar poetic form. Istvan Banyai's irrepressibly giddy and sophisticated illustrations add a one-of-a-kind luster to a book that is truly a gem.
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