REVIEW: A Cat Named Haiku

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What do a cat, a children’s comic, and Japanese poetry have in common? If it’s being published by Aracana Studios, then it’s A Cat Named Haiku.

A CAT NAMED HAIKU
Writer: Mark Poulton
Artist: Dexter Weeks
Editor: Mike Kalvoda
Publisher: Arcana Studios
Price: $5.95

Previously in The Schleicher Household:

Walked into the house
I stepped in warm cat vomit
I need a new cat.

HAIKU IS NOT MY CAT

Fortunately, Haiku is not my cat, but as chronicled in A Cat Named Haiku, the title character does get into trouble a time or two – but what cat doesn’t? By the end of the day, all is forgiven and we leave with a smile. When it comes to creative projects, a children’s book is the way to go, as it allows the creators to bring all the charm to the surface and plaster it across the page for youngsters to giggle at with glee. Since this book is not only about a cat named Haiku, but written in the style, the word count isn’t hight, but the words that are on the page tell the reader everything. There are probably more words in this paragraph than the entire book, and that is what makes this book special – Mark Poulton is able to condense everything down into a 5, 7, 5 pattern of words that simply works and brings a smile to the face of my three year old son.

The book actually works on a couple of different levels. For a young child – the target audience, the story is simple enough that it makes easy reading and gives the kid a rest from the rest of the electronic world. For the adult, who is probably going to read this to the young child, each page is a joy as one half expects Poulton to stumble, but the joy is discovering he never does.

I HAVE AN iPAD, BUT WANT THIS IN PRINT

Unfortunately, the review copy of this book came in an electronic PDF file. While the electronic copy is a high resolution, I can’t help but want to know if the book is actually printed on a rice-like paper that has the texture seen in the book. If it does, then extra kudos to the creative team. If it doesn’t that is still okay, I still see where they were going – but it would be really cool if it was on textured paper.

Kalvoda treats the art in the same manner Poulton deals with words – a simple style that packs a punch in the simple lines and design. There are a few times the art looks like a photograph processed by Adobe Photoshop, but when the eyes are drawn to the little cat and his antics it’s so charming that most of the problems vanish completely.

BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT IF YOU HAVE A KID

When it comes to reviewing children’s books, as long as it hits the mark with the target audience, then it should be considered a success. A Cat Named Haiku is a clever idea wrapped in a package, perfect for a bedtime read, that not only has a nice story, but serves as the gateway to get your kid to learn a little something about literature and cultures. If you’re looking for something that is kid friendly, A Cat Named Haiku scores a well deserved 4 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆