“Fold Me a Poem” — Haiku meets origami

Kristine O’Connell George‘s book Fold Me a Poem has received much acclaim. It won the Minnesota Book Award, was on the NYTimes “100 Books for Reading and Sharing” list, and was on the Wyoming Book Award list. It is also in the process of being translated into Korean.

The collection is a series of haiku illustrated through origami and I think it is a great way to foster an appreciation for haiku. The official book description and some of George’s poems with illustrations are below. They are followed with a note from George on her inspiration and creative process.


Join a young boy as he creates a world filled with origami creatures of all shapes and sizes out of an array of brightly colored paper. From roosters waking up and buffalo pawing the tablecloth to cheetahs racing lions and moths that yearn for butterfly colors, here is a glimpse into the vibrant imagination of a child.

About Writing Fold Me a Poem:

“The boy sat so quietly in the back of the room with a stack of colored paper, his fingers were nearly flying as he folded sheet after sheet of colorful origami paper into fanciful animals.  Once he’d folded a zoo’s worth of animals, I watched him play with them, talk to them and give them quirky personalities. His paper animals seemed almost real and I found myself thinking that while an adult may create art for art’s sake, children extend their art into their own lives through imaginative play.

Watching him that afternoon, I was also struck by the similarity between poetry and origami — how a few spare words, carefully chosen, can bring a scene to life, and how a few small folds, artfully made, can bring a sheet of paper to life.

I was startled when I first saw the Lauren Stringer’s sketches for FOLD ME A POEM: She had painted what was inside my head! I’ve never met Lauren and we didn’t communicate while she was working on the book. So, how did she know that I’d visualized the camel leaning against the salt shaker? Spooky! Most importantly, Lauren clearly saw that this book was not only about origami, but was also an exploration of a child’s joy in creating art and weaving that art into a deeply personal, imaginative world. I love Lauren Stringer’s evocative art; the Internet doesn’t do justice to the gorgeous full-page spreads and her vibrant colors!

Lauren and I hope you enjoy reading Fold Me a Poem. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to fold some origami and write poems about your own creations.”

–Kristen O’Connell George


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