Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker for a dog book. I have a couple I think kids are going to love in my CYBILS stack.

In THE HOUND DOG'S HAIKU, Michael J. Rosen, captures the "essence" of twenty different breeds. Listen to this one about one of my favorites…

"Golden Retriever"

stick like a wide grin

panting, chest-deep, in the lake

eye of each ripple

And while I much prefer big dogs to little ones, the poem about Parson Russell Terriers (I'm thinking those might be about the same as Jack Russells) is probably my favorite in the entire book.

"Parson Russell Terrier"

elbow-deep in dirt

nothing to bury but hours

holes are the treasures

The haiku are followed by two pages of doggy facts, some specific to the breeds, but more just general information. Did you know, for instance, that humans have 6 million olfactory receptors in their noses, but blood hounds have 230 million? Or that schnauzers are named for the German word for muzzle? Rosen's haiku are illustrated by Mary Azarian’s gorgeously detailed woodcuts.

We are two weeks into a study of poetry right now, I'm thinking that my fourth graders are going to love comparing HOUND DOG HAIKU to Andrew Clement’s very different DOGKU.


Kyle said...

Hi any Westie or Scottie haikus? How about one about a puppy that won't sleep the night?

Michael J. Rosen said...

Nice to meet you and your fourth graders, Carol! Thanks so much for the appreciative words and for sharing my new book with your readers. Indeed, we dog people do have the immediate bond!
Two things beyond the cheers. The Parson Russell terrier is what the Jack Russell terrier used to be called. In 2003, the AKC "ratified" the switch. Some suggest there are still two breeds, the latter having some Corgi thrown in the mix. The "fancy" is not where my passion lies.
It's sharing the good life with dogs. Two resources you might enjoy:’s_Haiku_and_Other_Poems_for_Dog_Lovers.html
This is a simplified outline of how I used haiku as a great writing experience with kids...that covers a lot of curriculum goals.
And here is a Website for my new book for families on dog care, training—everything, really!—that has downloadable trivia games, activities, recipes, projects, training tips, and a host of other things.
And here, again, my best wishes to you and yours for the coming holidays, Michael J. Rosen

Carol said...

It always blows me away when a real author reads something i wrote about a book. Thanks so much for the insights about Parson Russells. As I said in my post, I don't really like little dogs all that much (don't tell my sisters' shihtzu's!) but I do love that poem. So captures my two crazy labs who always smile so happily (usually with a little dirt on their chins) when I fuss at them for digging up our garden/yard. And I will definitely check out the haiku info.

Kyle, I'm trying to remember if I saw Scotties or Westies. I don't remember either of those- there were corgi's and cocker spaniels and dachshunds. I have the book at school so I will look again tomorrow. As far as puppies that won't sleep???? Hmmm. The picture of the corgi lying belly up in bed, and the dachshund stretched out on its owners shirt are very sweet! I would love to meet him, though, also see his owner sometime!

Michael J. Rosen said...

Kyle, Thanks for posting. At present, no Westies or Scotties...but you got me thinking about your all-night crying puppy.

the puppy cries “When?”
until he can predict when
“not yet” turns to “yes.”

Still tinkering...

Hope everyone had a good holiday. More to come! MJR

Carol said...

I love this! Will make sure Kyle sees it. Your post came in a very timely manner- I just came back from an hour long dog hunt- somehow our back gate mysteriously got left open (of course none of the three teenagers who live with me knew anything about it) and my two black lab mixes went on one of "Jack and Star's Excellent adventure jaunts!"