Stoplights and cherries
and roses and berries,
a ruby, a wagon,
a flame from a dragon;
a sunset Brazilian,
the tip of his tail,
the cap on his head:
Copyright © 2007 Deborah Ruddell. From the book Today at the Bluebird Cafe. Margaret K. McElderry Books. Reprinted by permission of the author.
The cardinal is the state bird of Illinois, where I live, so I had plenty of them to look at when I was working on this poem.The male cardinal is so intensely red that it seemed to me as if all the reds in the whole world were combined in one little bird. That’s the idea I wanted to get across in this poem — all those different reds joining forces to make one seriously RED bird. What a beauty!
Deborah Ruddell is a poet and picture book author who always loved words, but didn’t dream of writing books until she had children of her own. Her books include Today at the Bluebird Cafe (Chicago Public Library Best of the Best); A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk (ALA Notable Book); and Who Said Coo?, illustrated by her twin sister Robin Luebs, (Texas Library Association 2×2 Reading List). Up next in 2015 is The Picky Ogre, a poetic tribute to Ruddell’s favorite topic: food.
For teacher’s guides and fun activities, please visit www.deborahruddell.com.