The Horse's Haiku

illus. by Stan Fellows. 48p. Candlewick. Mar. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763689162.
Gr 2–5—Rosen pens contemplative reflections on horses in this book, organized into three sections: "In the Field," "At the Barn," and "In Saddle." "In the Field" begins with a horse's birth, and the haiku is told from a horse's point of view, while "At the Barn" and "In Saddle" reflect on human experiences with horses and use a second-person viewpoint. This added perspective is a nice touch and complements the theme of the relationship between people and nature: "daybreak, low tide—flash/of sunbeams between saddle/and posting rider." All of the haiku holds to the syllabic pattern, which is reminiscent of a horse's gait and works well with the overall theme. Fellows's watercolor illustrations reflect seasonal and time changes and depict a lot of movement and expression effortlessly. The artwork even conveys more dramatic moments with ease such as a horse leaping over a hedge. The poems all work together but can also stand alone.
VERDICT A beautifully illustrated collection of haiku for fans of horses and poetry.

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