Cool Melons— Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa

By Into the Wardrobe

Cool Melons—Turn to Frogs!: The Life and Poems of Issa is so beautiful that I got teary-eyed the first time I looked through it. This picture book tells the story of Kobayashi Yataro, the haiku master otherwise known as Issa. . . . If you want to learn A LOT more about Issa and his life or about haiku in general, you MUST read Cool Melons—Turn to Frogs!. Interspersed with Issa’s life story are thirty-three of his lovely haiku. Each haiku is also written in Japanese in the outer page margins. Keiko Smith wrote the calligraphy using traditional materials: charcoal, paper, water, and brush. There’s also a very helpful and very interesting author’s note at the end with lots more information about Issa’s work and about haiku in general. This book has inspired me to have more contact with nature, to reflect more, and to try to write my own haiku. —Into the Wardrobe