Friday, April 27, 2012

Lee Wardlaw - Catku

Lee Wardlaw

Paper bag crackles.
Crouch…wiggle…POUNCE! Game over.
You need a sack lunch.

© Lee Wardlaw. All rights reserved.

Lee Wardlaw had herself a pretty good year with her most recent book, Won Ton - A Cat Tale Told in Haiku (illustrated by Eugene Yelchin). It's been winning awards and honors galore, including this year's Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. Best of all, though, it's struck a chord with readers with its fantastic combination of emotion, humor, cat-ness, and poetry. And not just any poetry, mind you, but haiku! A story told 17 syllables at a time is not easy to pull off, but when you read Won Ton, you never get hung up in thinking what the author did to make the form work. On the contrary... it works so well, you don't think about form.

What fascinates me most about Won Ton is that up til now, Lee Wardlaw wasn't known for her poetry. Her fun, funny, sharply written novels like the 101 Ways series (which is how I first got to know her work), sure... but haiku? And yet as she demonstrates, you can make a form your own with skill, an eye for detail and perfect words, perfectly placed. Now, of course, Lee's known as a poet, and I think that's a great thing... since I hope it means we get to read more from her! I wish Won Ton and Lee Wardlaw continued success, since it's been a blast to be able to share it vicariously, and I'm so happy to have her here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days.

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is up over at The Opposite of Indifference. There is so much good stuff going on in the Kidlitosphere this month, you really should check it out. And you'll learn about "butt books"! Need I say more?

Yesterday, Ron Koertge took us on a Field Trip. Tomorrow, Kimberly Marcus gives us Revision. For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


tanita✿davis said...

Yes, I mainly knew of Lee Wardlaw from books like Bubblemania and the like - so the Won Ton thing had me thinking, "wait, is that the same person?"

I LOVE that she is the same person; I hate the idea of an artist getting landlocked into whatever genre, so I hope she keeps writing more and in various directions.

Amy LV said...

WON TON is such a I'm excited to check out these 101 books too. Many thanks for this, and congratulations on all of your great success with this book, Lee! a.

(Apologies for the mispost...spelling error!)

Susan Taylor Brown said...

I love Won Ton and am so happy to see Lee's book (and her) getting so much wonderful attention.

Charles Waters said...

Haiku-rumba! Wardlaw does it again!

Tara said...

Won Ton is a delight! I posted about this book not too long ago and was so thrilled to hear back from Lee herself...the poems are favorites in our classroom and have inspired some wonderful poems in response.