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The Cuckoo's Haiku: and Other Birding Poems
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The Cuckoo's Haiku: and Other Birding Poems

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
A joyful primer on the pleasures of bird-watching merges haiku, notes for identifying species, and exquisite watercolor illustrations.

In spare and graceful words, poet and birder Michael J. Rosen captures
the forecasting call of the mysterious cuckoo as well as essential characteristics of more than twenty commonly seen North American birds. This artfully compiled fi eld no
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Candlewick Press
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Joy Keil
Feb 17, 2017 Joy Keil rated it really liked it
Shelves: clara
The part I loved the most was the pictures and descriptions. Especially since my husband is an avid birder!
Mar 01, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
Rosen, Michael J. 2009. The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Birding Poems. Somerville: Candlewick. ISBN: 978-07636-3049-2.

Research on children’s poetry preferences shows that haikus are one of the least favorite forms of poetry and that children prefer humorous poetry or poetry written about familiar situations (Vardell 75). With that research in mind, it is understandable that a book of haikus about birds may not interest young children. This collection of poems, marketed on Amazon as a book for chil
Dec 05, 2012 Ed added it
Shelves: poetry
Rosen, Michael J. (2009). The Cuckoo’s Haiku: and other Birding Poems. New York: Candlewick. 128 pp. ISBN 978-0-7636-3049-2 (Hardcover); $17.99

Fowl is the season,
Bird lovers, art lovers, sweet!
Pour through these pages and fly.

Exquisite watercolors blended with evocative haiku grace each distinctive page of this tribute to twenty-four of the birds commonly found in North America. EAS

I wish I were a better poet! I would capture more of the field guide nature and cherished personal journal feel of
Aug 30, 2010 Becky rated it it was amazing
As Rosen states in his author’s bio in the back of the book: “Haiku and bird-watching are kindred arts: the subject of both is often a fleeting impression – a snatched glimpse. Yet a long, steady look … can turn a familiar sight into something astonishing.”

Familiar and yet astonishing. Two perfect adjectives for this perfect book. The title words tell you exactly what you are going to get: a collection of haiku poems celebrating the beauty of birds. The poems are arranged by season, beginning wi
Logan Williams
Feb 26, 2015 Logan Williams rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction:
It is statistically proven that a majority of children do not favor poetry in haiku form, but instead prefer humorous poetry that they can relate to. This being said, I believe this is an outstanding resource for older children who are in 4th or 5th grade classes. The book is written in haiku form that goes into detail about several different types of birds as the seasons go on. The illustrations are done beautifully by watercolor paint, which really adds meaning and interest i
Charli Greene
The Cuckoo's Haiku written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Stan Fellows consists of haiku's and other bird poems. The haiku's created in this book have to do with the cuckoo's that a bird makes. He mentions that their cuckoo's are mysterious. He also goes into detail of why they make that noises that they do. The other poems consists of other characteristics that have to do with birds. Haiku's are short little poems that have no rhyming involved. This book of poems would really appeal to tho ...more
Jul 26, 2009 Linda rated it liked it
Recommended to Linda by: found at ClCPL
Shelves: clcpl
I picked up this book because I'm trying to learn about good haiku. This is not it. If, however, you want a beautifully illustrated book of bird poetry, this would be perfect. My problem is that the author, Michael J. Rosen, has followed the form erroneously taught in so many elementary schools that a haiku must have three lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, then 5 syllables. In actuality, the syllable counts are appropriate if one is writing or speaking Japanese. It does not necessarily work in ...more
Amy Kim
Sep 05, 2016 Amy Kim rated it it was amazing
It was a nice short read that carried me through the seasons. The illustration was very appealing with the watercolor paintings acting as a great backdrop for the poems. The book was divided into four parts corresponding to four seasons and it was nice to see the color change as the seasons changed. The poem itself was described by the illustration and I think that allowed the poem to be brought to life more. The illustration definitely gives a lot to talk about when reading this book with young ...more
Jul 16, 2013 AnandaTashie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fic, children, 2013
Divided by seasons, this book features 24 birds. Each spread has a haiki, some simple information (such as their coloring or call), and artwork. The artwork? Truly gorgeous. It captures the vibrant beauty of birds and nature. Some of the haiku poems were special, some not quite so much, but the book as a whole was truly a little bit of magic.

Favorite haikus:

American Crow: blooming apple tree / round and white as one peeled fruit / crow-seeds at its core

European Starling: masking the daylight /
Bridget R. Wilson
Feb 18, 2010 Bridget R. Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-poetry
Taking us through the four seasons, these haiku introduce us to each season’s birds.

What I thought: Lovely! The haiku is one of my favorite poetic forms and I am pleased to see so well used here. The poems are a delight to read. The illustrations are pleasing and so realistic. I liked Rosen’s notes about the birds and his poems at the end of the book. My favorite poems are “Cardinal” and “Mockingbird”

And here for your reading pleasure is my own birding haiku:

Under the spruce tree
Winter birds fee
Kelly Havens
Jun 12, 2013 Kelly Havens rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent text to introduce haiku’s to students. Rosen writes on twenty-four birds that are familiar to many of us, for instance, an Eastern Bluebird, Northern Cardinal, Morning Dove, and American Robin. He takes us through the four seasons, highlighting different birds in each one. In addition, Fellows does an excellent job illustrating each bird in its natural habitat. Writing a haiku is a fun process because it forces writers to pick their words carefully to really express themselv ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Meredith rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
i love the concept of this book, and the illustrations are outstanding. the haiku, however, were a bit of a disappointment--i found that they were a bit too concerned with the book concept and not grounded enough in the principles of haiku. there were a few gems, but, overall, i found the haiku to be lackluster.
Kayla Spohr
Apr 29, 2014 Kayla Spohr rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A sweet book written in haiku poem form, that describes many different types of birds. From the beautiful hummingbird, to the average crow, beautiful poems are written with elaborate illustrations to add to the meaning.
This book is a little boring for younger kids, probably more advanced and for older kids.
Ashley Lovingood
This beautifully written and illustrated book of poems is pure art. The illustrations were so colorful and really brought the poems to life. It's sophisticated writing, yet appropriate for little one's as well. I enjoyed reading and looking at each page as each turn describes a different bird in a haiku. Great for teaching different styles of writing and poems.
Feb 03, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
Absolutely beautiful! Your eyes will be treated to vibrant colors and you'll feel as if you were right in the fields or backyards enjoying the birds. The haiku, read aloud or not, helps to create the atmosphere of how and where these feathered friends live; as well as inform you about some bird facts.
May 14, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poets, artists, birders, anyone who meditates or loves the natural world
Recommended to Laura by: Saw it at Corazone in downtown MPLS, MN
The bird illustrations are beautiful and so are the haikus that represent each bird. The illustrations here remind me of the drawings of birds, nests,and eggs in MaryJo Koch's books. This lovely book is rendered with the feel of a field journal and will appeal to fans of Keeping a Nature Journal by Clair Walker Leslie, a book that makes me dearly wish I could draw.
Jan 17, 2010 Christopher rated it really liked it
Breathtaking illustrations that will delight children young and old. Every bird feels as if they will come off the page and into your lap. The haikus and descriptions in the illustrations take away from the magical beauty of Stan Fellows exquisite artwork.
Mylisa Larsen
Both art and poetry are beautiful. But this is a picture book for grownups. There's nothing wrong with that but it is. Even the images in the haiku which are so beautiful are things which I think adults would respond to much more than children.

A perfect gift for a birder.
Sep 13, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: capch7-10, art, poetry, birds
The rich, jewel-toned watercolors, simple haiku, and field notes provide a lovely introduction to 24 common birds. One of my favorite images is:

the great oak's tresses
beaded with cedar waxwings
wind tossing its head

Back matter offers more information about each bird.
Jul 04, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Saw this book on a trip out to Chagrin Falls and I fell in love with the beautiful watercolor illustrations. The book is divided into four sections; one for each season. The only quibble I have is that I find the very fine lined small scripted font used on some of the pages to be hard to read.
Jul 26, 2010 Christopher rated it liked it
Great little book of haiku. I really enjoyed the lovely old-fashioned feel of the book in the watercolor illustrations and the notes on the birds in script. I also liked how the author arranged the birds in the book by season.
Mark Nenadov
Jul 23, 2012 Mark Nenadov rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature, poetry, wildlife, birds
This is a wonderful book for anyone who likes birding and poetry! It features twenty common North American birds, with a haiku and beautiful artwork for each bird. It also has some helpful information about each bird at the end. Highly recommended!
Mar 24, 2009 Larry rated it liked it
Beautiful watercolors. The info is neat, and Maya and I have been using it to talk about how different birds make different sounds. However, the haiku's are for the most part not very good. One to look at at the library.
Nov 30, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is beautiful and combines two of my favorite things: birds and Haiku. Michael J. Rosen's haiku are accompanied by Stan Fellows beautiful watercolor and pencil illustrations. There is also a nice afterward at the end with more information about the birds featured in this book.
Jul 06, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it
Beautiful poems and illustrations. I like the information shared about each bird, but the font for the facts is so loopy and tiny that it's hard to read. Lovely for bird-watchers.
Sep 08, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
The small cursive text was difficult to read and not well made for children. Other than that the book was okay.
Kendra rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2014
Andria rated it really liked it
May 11, 2016
Amy Rhilinger
Amy Rhilinger rated it liked it
May 04, 2012
Robin rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2010
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Rosen's Website should provide all this and more. It's
Nonetheless: Michael J. Rosen is an American author and illustrator with over 120 books of fiction, nonfiction, humor, picture books, poetry, and more. With a strong interest in nature and animals, reflecting his animal behavior degree from Ohio State University, Rosen resides within a peaceful crease of Central Ohio
More about Michael J. Rosen...

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