Just for Kids!


Fun & Funny Facts about Lee Wardlaw
(Trivia about Lee)

101 Questions to Ask Author Lee Wardlaw
(Great if you’re writing a school report about Lee)

101 Ways to Bug Lee Wardlaw
(Lee’s Pet Peeves)

How to Write to Your Favorite Authors/Illustrators
(Tips to make sure they get your letters and emails!)

Recommended Books for Young Writers
(How to Write and Publish What You Write)

Got a Question or Comment for Lee?
(Email her here!)



What is Haiku?

Haiku is…

  • pronounced hi-koo
  • a non-rhyming form of poetry that originated in Japan in the 9th century
  • the shortest form of poetry in the world!

Petku Haiku are…

  • only three lines long, with a total of 17 syllables: 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 again in the third
  • focused on a moment in time
  • written about a pet or favorite animal
  • written in the present tense, as if things are happening now

Petku Haiku will…

  • paint a picture of your pet in the reader’s mind
  • turn an ordinatry moment into something extraordinary
  • surprise you with a feeling of ‘a-ha!’ or ‘ahhhh’

How to Write a Petku Haiku
By Lee Wardlaw



Sit or stand quietly and watch your pet in action: sleeping, playing, eating running, etc. Pay attention to every detail. (If your pet is not with you, close your eyes and observe a memory of it in action.)


Use your Senses

As you observe your pet, think about what you see, hear, smell, touch, and taste.  (Think, too, about what your pet might be seeing, hearing, smelling, touching or tasting!)



What kind of mood are you in?  Does your pet stir up any emotions within you? What are you feeling? What do you think your pet is feeling?


Take Notes

Jot down words to help you remember what you’ve observed and felt.



Describe your pet and what you observed in three short sentences. Write in the present tense, as if the moment is happening right now. Remember to use five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five again in the third line.  (If you prefer, you may create a ‘What am I?’ petku.)



Read your poem aloud several times. Does it paint a picture for the reader? Do you think your reader can see, hear, smell, taste, feel the moment as you do? If not, think of words that are stronger, more vivid, expressive.



Read and revise your poem again and again until you think it’s the best it can be.



Using your best handwriting, write your poem on the lines of the petku sheet. If you like, you may draw a picture to illustrate your poem.