Laura Purdie Salas has long been one of my favorite children’s picture book authors (see previous reviews for Water Can Be… and A Leaf Can Be…) In her newest, Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons (illustrated by Mercè López) she travels though the seasons with 24 delightful haiku riddles. Fabulous!
What is a haiku riddle? It is a haiku that gives clues to an object or activity — in this case associated with a season — and encourages the reader to guess what it is. Many of the riddles are written in the first person point-of-view, voiced by the object itself.
The illustrations are expressive and add just the right number of additional clues to help the reader figure out the answer. If you get stuck on one, however, the answers are given in the back matter.
Let’s see some examples:
- Listen to Laura Purdie Salas read from the book.
2. You can also see an excerpt at the Lerner website or via Google Books:
Aren’t those fun?
Lion of the Sky encourages young reader to look closely at the world around them and think creatively. Get caught up in a copy today!
Encourage children to come up with their own riddles, haiku or not. Watch out, though, because it can be addicting.
Here is mine:
My leaves are lion teeth
Yellow flower feeds honey bees
Not a weed to them
See the photograph below for a clue.
Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press TM (April 2, 2019)
National Poetry Month is my favorite time of year and a perfect time to share the poetry collection Dreaming Big and Small by Sara Holbrook, Michael Salinger, and illustrated by Scott Pickering.
As the authors explain up front, this is a collection of ekphrastic poems. Instead of writing poems and hiring an artist to illustrate them, the authors used Scott Pickering’s creative and playful illustrations to inspire their poetry.
Topics ranges from Kangaroos
…They wear a front facing backpack
as they bounce across the outback …
Socks on the table
Socks in my drawer
Socks in my pocket
Socks on the floor…
As with any poetry collection, it can be read in pieces or all at once. Readers will likely want to return to their favorites again and again.
What I love the most is the message in the front encouraging readers use art to spark their own poetry.
Dreaming Big and Small is a delightful little book that packs a big wallop. Get inspired by a copy today!
Age: Middle grade +
Publisher: Streamline Publishing (2019)
Disclosure: The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.
For STEM Friday, Anastasia shared The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris.
The inspiration for the book is a sad one. In 2007 someone noticed that the newest edition of Oxford Junior Dictionary no longer contained around forty words about natural things, including common words like acorn and dandelion. Author Macfarlane chose to right this slight by celebrating each and every one to these “lost” words.
To honor his efforts to promote nature and words, and inspired by NaHaiWriMo, a haiku:
word acorn dropped
from children’s dictionary
oak trees grow no more
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Anansi International; First Edition edition (October 2, 2018)
I meant to post this lovely interview a few days ago, but better late than never.
If you have a minute or two, enjoy children’s book author Kwame Alexander strut his poetry stuff for the holidays.
More by Kwame Alexander:
Looking to share books for kids for National Poetry Month in April? These books should be at the top of your list.
Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth, with illustrations by Ekua Holmes
Kwame Alexander is one of the three authors who channel their favorite poets to create a wonderful celebration of poetry. This one is already receiving award-winning buzz.
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Candlewick (March 14, 2017)
Animal Ark: Celebrating our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Kids) by Kwame Alexander, with Mary Rand Hess, Deanna Nikaido, and photographs by Joel Sartore
Animal Ark is an amazing combination of image and text. Full of vibrant verbs, the poems leap off the page:
listen to the rumble
giant stomping feet
calling brothers … sisters
(See review in Previous Post)
Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (February 14, 2017)