Posted by: jeannineatkins | September 9, 2011

The Hound Dog’s Haiku and Other Poems for Dog Lovers by Michael J. Rosen illustrated by Mary Azarian

Michael J. Rosen offers twenty kinds of dogs each in a three-line poem that nudges us to see canines in new ways. And Mary Azazrian makes each woodcut come alive, combining bold lines with a sense of movement, whether the dogs are brooding, dozing (you know that lying on a back dreaming pose), showing off, waiting to greet the family with a welcoming bound, jumping for a Frisbee, digging among daffodils, sniffing or scratching. Each one is a unique portrait, and who can get tired of looking at Mary Azarian’s work? (I remember cheering with the librarian at my daughter’s elementary school when she won the Caldecott Medal for Snowflake Bentley.)
Here’s the haiku for Beagle:

far off, one dog barks
dreams blur like smoke from chimneys
he barks at barking

I like the light touch and unexpected within each short poem of The Hound Dog’s Haiku (Candlewick). The notes at the end, of just a few elegant sentences each, add to our knowledge in a friendly way, with the author drawing on his personal experience as much as offering unusual facts. With a starred review from Kirkus, calling it “the Tao of dogginess,” this is s a great book for dog lovers or poetry lovers, and those of us who are crazy about both.
For the Poetry Friday roundup, please visit Secrets and Sharing Soda. 



  1. The Tao of Dogginess, eh?
    Ruff ruff!
    Will sniff this one out. Thanks, J!

  2. Okay, this is the perfect book of poems for moi. I will go out and get it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. Jeannine,
    I had read a review of this book recently and decided to order a copy for myself. I love Rosen’s book “The Cuckoo’s Haiku” and I’m a big fan of Azarian’s art.
    Elaine Magliaro

  4. So jealous of Kirkus for that great line! and thank, you, J!

  5. Hope you and Trixie enjoy this!

  6. Someday I hope to get a peek at your poetry collection. And I, too, love all things Mary Azarian. There’s so much I don’t remember from years gone by, but I can call up setting up books for a school book sale with the school librarian, and Irene and I stopping in the busy-ness to turn the pages of Snowflake Bentley and ooh.

  7. “he barks at barking”
    “the Tao of dogginess”
    two lines that got right to the heart of this dog-loving lady – this is definitely a book for me. Thanks!

  8. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this, Tara. It’s a fun and evocative way to look at breeds who don’t live with us — and a recognition of those who do.

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