There’s this book. It’s called The Cuckoo’s Haiku: And Other Birding Poems (Candlewick). It was written by the very prolific Michael J. Rosen and illustrated with remarkable grace by Stan Fellows and will be released very, very soon — in March. This poetry volume is designed to be not unlike a field notebook on birds — twenty-four North American birds from the Eastern Bluebird to the Dark-Eyed Junco — divided by seasons, starting with Spring and ending with Winter. (The Pileated Woodpecker opens this post.) A spare, evocative haiku from the mind and observant eye of Rosen accompanies each bird (”first feeders at dawn / paired like red quotation marks / last feeders at dusk” is the entry for the Northern Cardinal), as well as lush and—there’s no other word for it—beautiful watercolors from Fellows of these birds in their habitats that just shimmer right off the page. (His illustrations even include Rosen’s ardent notes about these creatures of the air. My favorites are on the American Goldfinch spreads: “travel in small groups, feeder is a tower of gold” and “funny — their song is ‘potato-chips, potato-chips.’”)
It’s a thing of beauty, this book.