Cover image for Lion of the sky : haiku for all seasons / Laura Purdie Salas ; illustrations by Mercè López.
Lion of the sky : haiku for all seasons / Laura Purdie Salas ; illustrations by Mercè López.
Publication Information:

Minneapolis : Millbrook Press, [2019]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A collection of poems celebrates the four seasons, including spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Audience/Reading Level:
Ages 5-9.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
811.6 SAL Book Easy Collection

On Order



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.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Organized in four sections beginning with spring, Salas's lovely haiku are written in the voices of animals and organic or inanimate objects related to the seasons. "Fire in our bellies,/ we FLICKER-FLASH in twilight-/ rich meadow of stars," speak the summer's fireflies. Each haiku contains a riddle element-readers must guess the narrator (in an author's note, Salas refers to the form as a "riddle-ku"). It's not always clear who, or what, is speaking, but LA3pez's evocative acrylics visually communicate the imagery within the poems. "I'm a WRIGGLING tube,/ soft underground tunneler-/ I fear early birds," one announces. The small bird hovering over a hole clues readers in to the speaker's identity: a worm. The book's meditative tone and resonant images invite readers to embrace new ways of seeing the world around them. Ages 5-9. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Salas presents a volume of riddle-ku poems, a form that is a cross between riddles, haiku, and mask poems (poems narrated by something nonhuman). The book is divided into four sections, by season, with each poem representing something traditionally associated with that season. Supporting illustrations help readers solve the puzzles: I am a wind bird, / sky skipper, diamond dipper, / dancing on your string is pictured by a child flying a kite. Salass innovative language steals the show. What is firelight from the past or a yellow train / carrying thoughts from your brain / to the waiting page? (Answers: stars and a pencil.) Lpezs acrylic and digital illustrations capture movement and texture through strong lines and seasonal hues. A tangle of lines denotes the sticks of a birds nest in spring, the determined flight of a mosquito toward its human target in summer, and the blades of an ice-skater in winter. Backgrounds are mostly pale and muted, in earthy-khaki tones, but they occasionally erupt in colorful explosions and even more exuberant lines, such as the eponymous lion of the sky (fireworks) or the crispy crowd of loud crunch (pile of fall leaves). Multiple readings are in order: the first few may revolve around riddle solving, while subsequent ones will allow readers to savor the imaginative language and illustrations. julie hakim azzam March/April 2019 p 95(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.