Tap Dancing on the Roof

by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Istvan Banyai
Clarion Books, 2007
Language: English
paperback: 978-0544555518
48 pages, ages 4 and up

Tap-Dancing on the Roof: Sijo Poems

sijo, a traditional Korean verse form, has a fixed number of stressed syllables and a humorous or ironic twist at the end. Like haiku, sijo are brief and accessible, and the witty last line winds up each poem with a surprise. The verses in this book illuminate funny, unexpected, amazing aspects of the everyday—of breakfast, thunder and lightning, houseplants, tennis, freshly laundered socks. Carefully crafted and deceptively simple, Linda Sue Park’s sijo are a pleasure to read and an irresistible invitation to experiment with an unfamiliar poetic form. Istvan Banyai’s irrepressibly giddy and sophisticated illustrations add a one-of-a-kind luster to a book that is truly a gem.


Sijo: Korea’s Poetry Form, edited by Lucy Park and Elizabeth Jorgenson (ParkYoung, 2022)


2007 ABC Children’s Booksellers Choice Award
2008 ALA Notable Book for Children
2007 Book Sense Award Finalist
2008 CCBC Choices
2007 Horn Book Fanfare Selection
2008 The Lion and the Unicorn Prize for Excellence in North American Poetry
2008 NCTE/CLA Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts
2010 Prairie Bud Children’s Book Award Nominee (SD)
2010 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award Nominee
2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee


“Fresh and collegial, this offering stands out.”

“A smart and appealing introduction to an overlooked poetic form.”

“With this lighthearted collection of her own sijo, the form will take a flying leap into the consciousness of both children and teachers.”

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

“Park wants readers to try sijo for themselves, and in an extensive author's note she offers history, advice and encouragement.”


The paperback of Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo Poems is available from your favorite independent bookseller, your public library, or these online retailers:

Tap Dancing on the Roof