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  • Writer's pictureShameer Bismilla

Kiyoshi's Walk

I have many favourites of inter-generational stories but this one impresses me the most. It is a great mentor text to use with Lucy Calkins’ unit of study on poetry. The poetry lesson began with looking at objects in fresh new ways. This book is apt for teaching young readers to practice seeing objects using their poets’ eyes.

The author, Mark Karlins has crafted a heart-warming story between grandson and grandfather. I love how Eto, the grandfather affirms the grandson not to be intimidated by poetry and that everyone can be a poet – all one needs to do is to quieten one’s mind and pay close attention to the wonderful surroundings – only then the magic of poetry will emerge.

The story began when Kiyoshi watched his grandfather paint a haiku poem with brush and ink. He was intrigued with his grandfather’s poetic words and asked him where he drew his inspiration from, so his grandfather took him for a meditative walk and started to show him the power of using his five senses to convey a message to readers by providing a strong image in their heads.

I love how Eto subtly teaches his grandson how to write haiku. As they walked the neighbourhood, they saw a cat on a pile of fallen oranges, an abandoned teddy bear, people walking their dogs and many other captivating scenes. At every scene he stopped and wrote a poem and added imagination too. What moved me the most was when Kiyoshi was ready to write his first poem after figuring out that poems come from what you see, what you feel and what you imagine and finally what touches your heart.

This book is filled with inspiration, poetry and connection. It is perfect for anyone starting a unit about poetry. I wish everyone has a Grandfather like Eto. He would be the living example of teaching young readers the beauty of poetry!


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