I love cats and I love haiku, so it makes sense that I find The Maine Coon's Haiku and Other Poems for Cat Lovers by Michael J. Rosen and illustrated by Lee White absolutely charming and fascinating. The Maine Coon's Haiku and Other Poems for Cat Lovers consists of 20 poems, one each for a different breed of cat, divided into four sections that any cat owner will immediately recognize: Inside, Outside, Inside and Outside. If you are a cat owner and know anything about haiku, then you know that felines are the perfect subject for this style of poetry.
Rosen begins The Maine Coon's Haiku and Other Poems for Cat Lovers with the Maine Coon. As the owner of a cat that is part Maine Coon, a cat who has survived a coyote attack and regularly brings his catch to eat at my bedside, this haiku resonated with me:
crouched before the couch,
suddenly, cat has all night
for just one sound: mouse
However, my favorite poem for its pure expression of "cattitude" and the spirit of haiku is this one:
curled up on your book
cat won't care what happens next
now's the only page
Rosen captures other moments of perfect catness like the, "pink-petal toes" and the "spring's dew-heavy grass / prints" that quiet paws leave behind as well as the way the Norwegian Forest cat is like descending fog.
Happily, Rosen includes a wonderful addition of a glossary of sorts that gives a paragraph of information about each breed, including personality types. Rosen includes fascinating information for each of these cats, like the fact that Maine Coons love "frolicking in water" and the way that Siamese princesses used the tails of their cats to store their rings, causing royal breeders to attempt to breed kinks and corkscrews into the tails to keep the rings fro slipping off!
The Maine Coon's Haiku and Other Poems for Cat Lovers is a highly enjoyable, highly readable book that, naturally, makes a great gift for cat and haiku lovers alike. It's also a wonderful way to introduce young readers to this beautiful form of poetry.
More books by Michael Rosen:
Source: Review Copy