Lion of the Sky (Haiku for All Seasons)


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Millbrook Press April 2019

you gasp as I roar, my mane exploding, sizzling― lion of the sky!

Haiku meet riddles in this wonderful collection from Laura Purdie Salas. The poems celebrate the seasons and describe everything from an earthworm to a baseball to an apple to snow angels, alongside full-color illustrations.--from the publisher

32 pages 978-1512498097 Ages 5-9


New books to help introduce students to poetry are always a welcome find. This book has the added benefit of excellent artwork to enhance the presentation of the poems. A combination of haiku and mask poems, each one is a riddle told by a nonhuman narrator that the reader can guess from the clues within the lines. As if that were not enough, the poems also move through the seasons with descriptions of things experienced at each time of the year.

The acrylic illustrations capture the beauty of dandelion seeds drifting across a summer sky, the bustle of a school hallway, or the twinkle of stars in a clear winter night. Along with the seasonal scenes, each picture also shows the answer to the riddle-ku on each page. This would be a fun book to share with a friend, taking turns to read a poem aloud and let the friend guess the answer to the riddle, then reveal the illustration to see if they were correct in their answer. (It could also work well in a classroom read-aloud in the same way.)

For those wishing to use it as a poetry mentor text there is an author's note that explains about mask poems, haiku, and the use of the haiku form to create riddle-ku. There are also suggestions for further reading with books of haiku, riddle poems, and a few about the seasons. An answer key for each riddle is also provided.

A great addition to school library and classroom collections -  a fresh and thought-provoking collection.

Recommended by:  Suzanne Costner, Library Media Specialist, Tennessee USA

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