Speaking of lost things, let’s talk about endangered animals for a minute.
I don’t know why endangered animals are a subject so near and dear to my heart. Perhaps it’s my love of animals or the thought of something that was here before mankind was, is now ceasing to exist forever. We’ve already lost too many (and in my humble opinion, one species gone forever is too many).
This is why I was thrilled to see Kwame Alexander join forces with National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore again in this poetry picture book. I would swear I talked about Animal Ark on my blog a few years back, but I cannot find the entry where I did so. Photo Ark is a collection of modern haiku by Kwame paired with the most gorgeous photos you can imagine of endangered species. There were so many favorites that I had a terrible time choosing (but what’s new). The Bengal Slow Loris has a place in my heart after researching loris species. The Malayan Tapir pulled at my heartstrings. But ultimately, I love these Ploughshare tortoises from Madagascar so much, I chose to share their poem.
You may notice that the poem doesn’t follow the typical 5-7-5 syllable rule and that’s because (as Kwame explains) modern haiku shouldn’t follow strict syllable structures in English (as something is always lost in translation). I may not be summarizing that quite right, but be sure to check out these gorgeous books. You won’t regret it.
And if you’re looking for more poetry fun this month, be sure to check out the Kidlitosphere Event Roundup!