It turns out Grace isn’t just a musician, she’s also a poet!
Like millions of people around the world, Grace found herself with more time on her hands during the last three months. Her e-learning didn’t take as much time as a regular school day. She couldn’t see her friends in person, only on video calls. And she couldn’t lead the band, go to concerts, or do many of her regular activities.
So, she learned a new skill: writing haiku poetry.
She’s in good company, actually. During this strange and stressful time, many children and adults are taking up hobbies. These include crafts and sewing, organizing projects, family read-alouds, scavenger hunts, TikTok videos, baking, learning to cook and much, much more. Why is there this sudden spike in creativity? It turns out that creativity is an ideal antidote to the stress and tension many of us feel during this period of great uncertainty (and bad news). The principles of positive psychology suggests that hobbies can be soothing and relaxing (and enjoying these kinds of activities can help adults and kids be more resilient during this time).
As author Ken Korber says, “Grace had some poetry on her mind. And, feeling a little lonely like we all have, she wanted to write it down to share it with her friends—and with you. So, she created this book of musical and nature haiku.”
Haiku poetry is a special short form of Japanese poetry. And it has a specific structure: three phrases adding up to 17 total syllables. The first and last phrases are five syllables each and the middle phrase is seven. In Japanese, haiku are printed in a single vertical line. When written in English, they take up three lines. As a form of poetry, haiku first emerged in Japan in the 1600s and was brought into Western writing by a Dutchman in the 1760s.
In her book of haiku, Grace chose to focus on (surprise, surprise) musical themes and inspiration from nature. Her themes make the book a great choice for summer reading and sharing. This year, with the regular academic rhythm interrupted with school closures, summer reading may be more important than ever to stop the “summer slide,” or the ground children lose when they don’t practice their literacy skills during summer break. Many libraries across the country have taken their summer reading programs online with apps available to log the number of minutes (and books) children read. Participating in these programs and adding new books to your library can help keep interest in reading high.
Grace’s Musical Haiku Adventures is written in kid-friendly language for emerging readers ages 3 to 6. It’s also intended for teachers to use in classrooms too, from early childhood and early elementary to music classes.
Grace’s Musical Haiku Adventures is the latest title in the expanding series of Grace’s Musical Adventures books. Learn more about the book and order your copy here.
The Center for Functional Learning helps parents, caregivers, clinicians, and educators improve kids’ lives and learning with creative resources. We are the first company to combine reading skills, music vocabulary, and health promotion for emerging readers.