Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons

Rate this book
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.

32 pages, ebook

Published April 2, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Laura Purdie Salas

110 books160 followers
Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 130 books for kids and teens, including WATER CAN BE... (Millbrook, 2014), A LEAF CAN BE... (Millbrook, 2012), and BOOKSPEAK! POEMS ABOUT BOOKS (Clarion, 2011). She loves to introduce kids to poetry and help them find poems they can relate to, no matter what their age, mood, and personality.

Laura is a thinker, a cupcake and brownie addict, and an adventurer (as long as it doesn't involve skydiving).

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
154 (46%)
4 stars
130 (39%)
3 stars
44 (13%)
2 stars
4 (1%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 127 reviews
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,251 reviews3,563 followers
March 26, 2019
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this one. Books of poetry for kids don't always work. But after flipping through the first few poems and pictures, I was sold.

This book is comprised of what the author calls "riddle-ku". Basically, they're haiku that describe something, only it's not explicitly spelled out. The reader then has to figure out what each haiku is referring to. I think it would be great fun for a kid to sit down and try to figure these out. Some are easier than others (but if you do get stuck, there's an answer key at the back).

The illustrations are a perfect complement to the poems. Some of them would be beautiful as framed art pieces. I'm going to have to see if I can find more of the illustrator's work.

This is a beautiful book that introduces haiku to readers who might not be familiar with it. It's also a fun set of riddles. Evocative illustrations tie everything together. I highly recommend this one!

Quotable moment:

Lion of the Sky

Thank you to NetGalley and Millbrook Press for providing a digital ARC.
6,286 reviews67 followers
November 1, 2018
A haiku book organized by season. The illustrations are very good and I love them, but the haikus were a bit «easy» or «light» I would say, probably not the best word, but just not deep enough for my taste even if there weren’t bad.
Profile Image for Laura Harrison.
1,033 reviews113 followers
April 23, 2019
A splendid and inspired collection of seasonal poems children will love. Paired with out of this world amazing illustrations. It took me all of 5 seconds to decide to buy Lion of the Sky. It is that good.
Profile Image for Richard.
1,823 reviews151 followers
December 20, 2018
I love children’s simple story books to push boundaries and present words and ideas in now and challenging ways. To entice and grab the young minds listening or learning to read.
Pitched for 5 - 9 age group, I would read this to a child as soon as they enjoy the book time experience.
Lion of the Sky is a collection Haiku for all seasons. Written by the clever and talented Laura Purdue Salas and wonderfully illustrated by Mercè López.
The colour palate is a delight on the eyes and combined with the Haiku, short poetry over 3 lines that contain 5:7:5 syllables. In these they are riddles to help the child to explore their world more with the aid of word and pen & ink drawings.
Covering the year we travel from Spring to Winter. From rainy days to playing in the snow.
I loved this book and it is one that would be difficult to tire reading; the author even encourages us to write our own Haiku or Riddle-ku as shared here.

“I’m a WRIGGLING tube,
soft underground tunneller-
I fear early birds”

I love summer fields-
left field, right field, centre field
I fly to the all!

I search under oaks
and gather tasty treasures-
winter is coming!

firelight from the past-
I wink in the frozen sky,
waiting for wishes

Marvellous and with the artwork so magical.

Beautifully conceive and born in these delightful pages to ensure Riddle-Kuantan’s will become the new limericks. Love words, solve riddles and rejoice in our changing year through this book.
Profile Image for Beverly.
5,268 reviews4 followers
May 16, 2019
The author called these "riddle-kus"--each haiku was a riddle and the reader guesses what object the haiku is describing. The book is divided into four sections, one for each season. The haiku are clever and the acrylic illustrations were lovely. Here is a sample haiku from the book:
colorful flowers--
we sprout on stems of people
bloom only in rain
There is a short bibliography and an answer key in the back. Kids should get a kick out of this book.
160 reviews56 followers
August 24, 2019
I have always been a big fan of books that take us through the seasons. Their very content invites us to pick them up time and time again, ensuring their familiarity and place in our hearts as they accompany us through the school year.

I also love poetry, especially haiku, because it is achievable for children; fun and satisfyingly short. Carefully chosen words can soon sound beautiful and powerful.

'Lion in the sky' is an outstanding example of haiku poetry, given just a little twist, with illustrations that perfectly capture the moment and sentiment. I think this book should quickly find its way into every EYFS, KS1 and lower KS2 classroom. Laura Salas depicts warm and timeless moments that happen each season, moments that enchant children as they grow old enough to experience them; flying kites in the spring, splashing in the rain, blowing a dandelion clock, moulding sandcastles, catching fireflies....

Salas' poetry provides us with reminders not only to share these magical experiences with children, but to reflect upon the joy and wonder within them, by giving us a writing model. There are words to borrow, carefully crafted lines to inspire and guidance in her methods to write haiku as a riddle using personification and the best possible descriptive vocabulary. 'I'm cold confetti, falling from a crystal sky, blanketing the town', what am I?

I love this book and it will now be one of my 'go to' poetry books for poetry sessions. I look forward to sharing it with you!
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,818 reviews418 followers
May 9, 2022
More fun if someone reads the haiku w/out letting you see the pictures, so you have a tiny bit of a challenge to solve the riddles. Otoh, pictures are lovely, so reread.

Rounded up to four stars because the note at the end guides the readers to create their own haikus or mask poems or riddle-kus... I always like mentor texts.
Profile Image for Dora  (Swift Coffee Book Blog).
130 reviews23 followers
December 9, 2018
Since this collection of poems is aimed at children, I rated it as such. I have to admit that I wasn't particularly intrigued by these poems, but they were good. I can imagine kids liking them for themselves, but what made me actually recommend this book to every parent with a toddler/kindergartner was that these poems are all riddles as well - they're so-called Riddle-ku-s. This makes reading this little collection more than a simple literary experience, it's a fun game this way, and it makes its little 'readers' actually think about what the poems are about.
And that's not even the best idea in this book. The last page ask kids to create their own riddles, their own haikus. Sorry, Riddle-ku-s. I find this awesome! There are ideas and methods given as help, too. I have to say, I'd so much like to see what kids write after discovering this book!
The illustrations are a huge plus in this book, as well. They're sweet and gorgeous!
Profile Image for Linda .
3,780 reviews43 followers
April 23, 2019
I've followed Laura's blog for a long time and have enjoyed her books and ideas for teaching poetry, too. Back in 2014, she wrote a poem a day for Poetry Month, I followed along and made a file of each, what she called, 'riddle-ku'. And I used them with students who loved writing their own. Now Laura has created a book of the seasons, just perfect for NOW because it starts with spring. Six riddles are included in each of the four seasons, beautifully clever new ways to see each part of our year and to crack the riddle. You'll need to get the book to discover the "wind bird", what has a "wicked whine", "a crispy crowd of loud crunch" and "knitted twins". Mercè López illustrates with subtle hints in vivid color, manages to show each riddle with beauty, including that gorgeous title riddle, "lion of the sky". I love the varied things that Laura shows in the seasons, not simply in nature, but activities found in them, too. Laura explains Riddle-Ku in an afterword and a list for further reading is also added.
56 reviews
January 12, 2020
I enjoy reading and writing haikus. If I was still teaching I’d buy this book for my classroom. My younger students would enjoyed guessing the answers and it would have been fun to have the older students write their own. The illustrations are delightful. Maybe some day if I’m blessed with grandkids I’ll buy this book then.
Profile Image for Frances Coe.
272 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2021
Love Haiku. This is a book that would make a nice accompaniment to each of the seasons during each term at school and then provide some continuity throughout the year. Cute page in Autumn for the first day of school and also;
“I’m a yellow train,
CARRYING thoughts from your brain
to the waiting page”
Artful illustrations accompany each page
Profile Image for Viviane Elbee.
Author 2 books51 followers
May 29, 2019
Lovely book of haikus that focus on aspects of each season, like dandelion seeds in the wind, the first day of school, fall leaves, etc...

Pretty illustrations!

Kids enjoyed this book.

It would be a good example book for kids studying haikus, and is also good for story time with a seasons theme.
Profile Image for Angela De Groot.
2,274 reviews5 followers
November 13, 2019
Beautiful, brilliant, and fun. Season themed haiku riddles. A classroom library essential but also a lovely gift item for kids and adults. Definitely a National Poetry Month pick.
Definitely want to read Snowman - Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations
Profile Image for Jean-Marie.
969 reviews43 followers
August 26, 2020
I love this picture book of riddle-kus (a haiku-riddle combination). The haikus are clever, and each page is beautifully (and seasonally) illustrated. I read this with my 13-year-old for haiku-writing inspiration, but this is a great read for the preschool crowd on up.
Profile Image for Deb in UT.
1,292 reviews17 followers
October 20, 2020
This is a lovely picture book. The seasonal poems are really good. I didn't realize they are riddles until the end of the book. We'll read this one again before we return it to the library. I'll be looking for more books by Laura Purdie Salas.
Profile Image for Becky Loader.
1,784 reviews17 followers
June 5, 2019
Like riddles? Like poetry? Like stunning illustrations? This book is for you!

Profile Image for Danica Midlil.
1,637 reviews32 followers
November 29, 2021
Really enjoyable! Kids loved solving the riddles. Seven-year-old closed his eyes so the pictures wouldn't give away the answer too easily.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
3,996 reviews83 followers
August 10, 2019
This is a super fun book of "riddle-ku," puzzles written in haiku form accompanied by beautiful illustrations. Some are quite clever! This would be really fun to do with a classroom, as long as you obscured the illustrations until after they guessed.
Profile Image for Margaret.
2,557 reviews
April 11, 2019
Although observations of everything about our world through poetry is welcome any month of the year, the annual celebration of National Poetry Month in April is when poets, those who enjoy poetry and those who have yet to discover poetry can come together. The use of various poetic styles is showcased. The interplay of word choices and cadence penned using those various techniques gives the appearance of pure magic.

One poet whose work I've enjoyed for years is Laura Purdie Salas. This spring readers are fortunate to have three new books written by Laura Purdie Salas released. They are from three different publishing houses and illustrated by three different artists.

To start off the first week of National Poetry Month, Lion Of The Sky: Haiku For All Seasons (Millbrook Press, April 2, 2019) written by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Merce Lopez was made available for all readers. It presents an entire book using a form of haiku and using these as riddles to be solved. Laura Purdie Salas calls it riddle-ku.

My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...
Profile Image for Natasha Brown.
55 reviews5 followers
October 17, 2019
Lion of the Sky Haiku for All Seasons by Laura Purdie Salas features a beautiful collection of haikus that are easy to read and understand for its target audience.

Lion of the Sky is broken down into the four seasons, which is perfect for teachers looking to carry something throughout the school year.

"I love summer fields-

left field, right field, center field

I fly to them all!"

The above is my son's favorite haiku in the book. He loves baseball, so when he read this he immediately said "YES!"

Children can easily relate to many of the haikus in the book, we had a very lively discussion each one as we read through this book.

The first day of school haiku was daughter's favorite:

"my first-day outfit

is fresh paint and polished floors-

here come my new friends!"

Many children can relate to first day jitters and how most feel it is important to look your best the first day, and making new friends.

Overall Lion of the Sky was an enjoyable book for the entire family. Lion in the Sky allowed us to have a very lively discussion, take a trip down memory lane, and just laugh and have fun. This is certainly a book I can see us reading on another Friday night as we wind down for bed.

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Andreia Rosa.
Author 1 book122 followers
May 7, 2019
I was expecting deep poetry but then I found out it what it really was. This was my first haiku book.
It’s basically short poems that describe something, only it’s not explicitly spelled out, thus becoming riddles for the reader to figure it out.
This collection of poems/riddles celebrates the different aspects of the seasons alongside the beautiful illustrations.
Short poetry that didn’t really intrigued me, it wasn’t deep enough for my taste. But it’s a great collection to encourage little readers to dive into the poetry world. Definitely would recommend this book to parents.
With this book I learned that haiku isn't for me but it’s a great way to make poetry interactive for kids.

Special thanks to Laura Purdie Salas, Millbrook Press and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Monique.
587 reviews13 followers
January 4, 2019
"Lion of the Sky" creatively and poetically reflects how each of Earth's seasons (spring, summer, autumn/fall, and winter) might look, smell, sound, taste, and feel. The text and illustrations in this book are equally lovely and well suited for children ages 5-9.

I received this book from NetGalley and the book's publisher in exchange for my honest review, for which I am very grateful.
Profile Image for Heidi.
537 reviews5 followers
November 19, 2018
What a FEAST of a book! The artwork was gorgeous and the riddle-kus were so lyrical. I absolutely LOVED fireworks being called Lions of the Skies!
Profile Image for Deborah.
759 reviews50 followers
May 7, 2019
Well written and beautifully drawn riddles for the seasons.
Profile Image for Paul  Hankins.
770 reviews275 followers
April 13, 2019
Just in time for National Poetry Month and for spring to turn toward summer, a presentation of the four seasons in a familiar form.

You gasp as I roar,
my mane EXPLODING, sizzling--
lion of the sky!

It's a perfect riddle in haiku form to share with local readers with Thunder Over Louisville happening today (April 13).

One of Laura Purdie Salas's new poetry collections (she is very busy this year with new releases) has landed in Room 407 and drew high engagement and rave reviews from one group of teens with whom the book was shared on Thursday afternoon.

Evidence that children's poetry is not just for children teens like Kelsey and Delanie and Faith were attempting to guess the answers to Laura's riddles before the others. And, further evidence that children's poetry is not just for children is that some of the riddles got past our older readers leaving them to playful frustration that they could not see the clues that provided the answer. Here is an example of how text and image work together and Mercè López's image bring together the wonder of and whimsy of childhood that serve as a perfect companion to Laura's playful, enigmatic verse. Here is a "riddle-ku" that stumped our students:

colorful flowers--
we sprout on stems of people.
bloom only in rain

As we work through multiple genres this year for our T.H.I.S. project, Laura's approach to haiku that presents a subject in riddle was a perfect mentor text for us to contemplate how we might present the complexities of our subject through micro form like haiku. And Laura does not disappoint in her rich tradition of not only being a wonderful poet for young readers but a rich resource in mentoring process of writing poetry as well. The back of this collection sees Laura offering advice to young writers who want to approach this genre for themselves (and some of our students immediately began to think of their subject and what parts are already complex or perplexing).

In the epitext, Laura Purdie Salas shares that the idea for this approach to haiku began to take shape during National Poetry Month almost five years ago (mentor text in returning to ideas, especially those pulled together quickly and in bulk). The poet introduces the young reader to terms like American haiku, mask poems, and narrator. Included, too, are further resources on haiku and riddle poems (and an answer key. . .just in case you get stumped).

I love our mentor poets for readers of all ages. Laura Purdie Salas once offered a SKYPE session for our students and it became a more than a visit. It quickly became a mini workshop in subject selection and poetic expression. Laura Purdie Salas keeps on teaching and she keeps on providing classroom teachers with strong mentor texts in writing poetry. . .for readers and writers of all ages.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 127 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.