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Koochie-Koo Haiku 

New baby book propels Independence illustrator to literary heights in her debut stab at Japanese poetry.

With 12 pages of original poems and vivid illustrations, Betsy Snyder's Haiku Baby is a preschooler's must-read for the summer. And you can give props to the 1994 Nordonia High School grad for putting the concepts of rain, sun, and flower into easy-to-grasp language, like the "tickly-toe grass" where buttercups grow and the "splish-splash, puddle bath" of a springtime shower. "There were certain playful words I thought would be fun to get in there," says Snyder. "It would be those first experiences that I was trying to remember from my childhood."A former illustrator for American Greetings, the 31-year-old Snyder sent sample haikus and thumbnail sketches on a lark to New York publisher Random House in late 2006. Three months later, she was stunned to hear that the literary giant was eager to back the book. "I was really prepared for that grueling experience of shopping it around for years and years," laughs Snyder. "I was so excited to find that they were well received. I'm really fortunate to get this opportunity." She signs the book at 11 this morning at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 24519 Cedar Road in Lyndhurst. Admission is free. Call 216-691-7000 or visit
Sat., July 19, 11 a.m., 2008

Speaking of Highlights

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