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Another beautiful book of poetry from Candlewick Press. I just happened to come across several of these lately, so I’ll be having something to say about them here. This one is The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Birding Poems by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Stan Fellows. Divided into four seasonal sections, each includes 5-7 birds for a total of 24. Each bird gets a two-page spread that includes full color watercolor images, a haiku, and script-style notes on the bird, such as this comment on the Common Grackle’s call: “harsh song is a rusty gate: ‘readle-eak!'”

The illustrations are absolutely lush. Some are full two-page scenes of the birds and their habitats, others include scenes with a variety of collage inset images of the bird. I cannot image anyone who enjoys poetry or birds not finding a comfortable liking in this book. That it is a “children’s” book is almost a misnoemer; indeed, I know a half dozen adults who would appreciate it. The script-style text might actually even be difficult for some younger children, but that only helps to make it a book best shared between adult and child.

An additional four-page section at the back of the book, “Notes for Birdwatchers and Haiku Lovers,” includes more specific species details as well as some author comments on the influence of the bird on his haiku. A neatly complete little book, perfect for National Poetry Month, and *finally* spring!

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