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Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems) Hardcover – Oct 15 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (Oct. 15 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618234837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618234837
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #917,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Fresh and collegial, this offering stands out." Kirkus Reviews, Starred

Banyai's illustrations enhance the collection with an extra element of wit and imaginative freedom.
Horn Book

Park wants readers to try sijo for themselves, and in an extensive author's note she offers history, advice and encouagement.
Publishers Weekly

A smart and appealing introduction to an overlooked poetic form.
School Library Journal, Starred

With this lighthearted collection of her own sijo, the form will take a flying leap into the consciousness of both children and teachers.
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

About the Author

Istvan Banyai is the creator of the award-winning children's book Zoom and The Other Side. He lives in Connecticut.

Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Medal book A Single Shard and bestseller A Long Walk to Water. She has written several acclaimed picture book texts. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her family. For more information visit

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Three Silly Chicks Review Jan. 17 2008
By Three Silly Chicks - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Yes, yes, we know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it's tough to gaze upon the whimsical dust jacket of TAP DANCING ON THE ROOF without feeling hopefully giddy about the pages inside. Happily for us and you and children of all ages, the poems within more than live up to the promise of that little red-dressed girl and her very large scissors.

As explained in the Author's Note (a gold mine of information and tips for readers, writers, and teachers alike), sijo is a form of Korean poetry with a fixed number of stressed syllables and a surprise joke or twist at the end. Poem after poem, Linda Sue Park serves up witty observations about everything from long division to bedtime snacks, with plenty of unexpected surprises along the way. Istvan Banyai's playful illustrations -- rendered mostly in gray tones with dashes of color here and there -- wisely complement the poems without ever overwhelming the text. It's the book equivalent of a hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top. Perfect!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Love this book Dec 15 2009
By Cooper - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a great description for adults and older readers about how these poems are written (their construction and history as Korean poetry). I love reading the poems to my 4 yr old son. He understands the humor or some of them and laughs. My two year old loves the pictures and listens intently as well. A great book for them to grow old with and treasure as part of who they are as korean adoptees.
Korean-style poems, not just for children June 23 2015
By Nissa Annakindt - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a book of sijo poems for children. Sijo are a Korean poetic form, similar to haiku, but longer.

The poems in this book deal with things that a child would identify with, and yet they are quality sijo worthy of adult attention as well.

Here is one example poem:


Everyone wants to get the ball,
run with it, and score a goal.
But when we win one-nothing,
that "nothing" means everything.

It's tough, playing for nothing.
Defense: Intense immense suspense.

In addition to the poems, the back of the book explains the sijo form and gives a list of books of sijo to read. This makes it a great resource for poets of all ages.

I don't yet own a copy of this book, but was able to read it thanks to the fine people at the Stephenson Public Library, who got it for me on interlibrary loan.