Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/15/2014
Writing in the voice of Santa himself, Raczka (Lemonade) offers a haiku for each day in December leading up to Christmas. This is not a frantic Santa laboring day and night in his workshop; in fact, he’s seen there only on December 9, calmly whistling while listening to “Elves pounding, sawing/ and sanding, a holiday/ concert performance.” Ostensibly typed up on Santa’s typewriter, the poems capture the sounds and sights of the season, indoors and out, while conveying the personality of the gentle, perceptive poet and his loving bond with Mrs. Claus. Suggesting elements of folk art, silkscreen, and stencil, Groenink’s (Dear Daisy Dunnington) graceful pictures are similarly soothing, whether he’s portraying the moonlit, frozen outdoors or the peaceful, warm interior of the Claus home. This is Christmas from the heart—with scarcely a toy in sight. Ages 5–9. Illustrator’s agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
There is a fire in the fireplace, it is snowing outside but warm inside and the children are gathered around grandmother as she reads the poems and stories of Christmas. Christmas is made for sharing memories and reading stories together is always a big part of those memories. This author has given us an advent calendar, Christmas story, and book of haiku poems all in one. The frontispiece is covered with images of stockings, gingerbread men, candy canes and snowflakes, all images that convey the Christmas holiday. Each of the twenty-five short poems has its own page, some with a two-page spread and is illustrated with drawings of Santa as he works to get ready for Christmas and is accompanied by a three line Haiku. Santa greets the first letters of the season, unties knots from the strings of lights, and checks his list. Mrs. Claus ties bows on presents, makes a snow angel, and sits by the fire as Santa reads A Christmas Carol. All of the things that children think of at this time of year make an appearance in the countdown. Elves are busy at work in the workshop, reindeers are helping to bring in the tree and bedding down in the stable, Santa is trying on his red suit, and the sleigh is packed with toys. This is a delightful way to countdown the days before Christmas, starting on December 1st and ending with Santa’s flying sleigh on December 25th. This is a beautiful gift book for children not yet reading on their own and will extend to children reading at a second grade level. Adults may want to spend time teaching the young reader about Haiku and the rhythm of the words, which enhances the value of the book. This is a worthy addition to holiday collections as well as to poetry collections for these younger readers. Reviewer: Joyce Rice; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4—Quiet haikus written by Santa Claus are gift-wrapped in lovely folk-inspired, jewel-toned spreads. From December 1 to December 25, he shares seasonal selections that capture the spirit of the holidays and the activities at the North Pole. Younger children will enjoy the charming and humorous illustrations, while older readers might be inspired to create their own haiku celebrating the holiday or any other subject. Raczka uses the traditional elements of the commercial aspects of the holiday to create quiet moments to savor. For example: "December 16th" "Dripping snow freezes/into icicles; cookies/bake in the oven." A lovely and enticing addition.—Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-08-12
Santa himself is the purported author of this calm but bright collection of 25 haiku, one for each day of the December countdown to Christmas. An introductory page scrolling out of Santa's typewriter describes the poetic form and how Santa came to write haiku of his own. Some poems show Santa and Mrs. Claus in their old-fashioned home, enjoying the snow and preparing for Christmas with the elves, while others capture outdoor images of snowy trees and moonlight. Within the collection, all the traditional elements of haiku can be found: colorful imagery, unusual juxtapositions, associations with nature and a sense of sudden enlightenment, as in "Reading the reindeer's / favorite bedtime story, / my cold nose grows red." Another memorable glimpse into Santa's life shows him reading to Mrs. Claus and their cat in a dark room next to the fireplace as the elves peek through a door. "Sitting by the fire / reading ‘A Christmas Carol,' / listening for ghosts." An oversize format gives plenty of room for intriguing illustrations with a muted palette and an Old World flavor. The volume's thoughtful design uses a typewriter font to emphasize the personal nature of Santa's haiku, with the chronological date for each day's poem set in red. Anyone interested in haiku or poetry for children will find this collection a rare treat. Quiet winter scenes / Santa ponders in writing, / sharing the season. (Picture books/poetry. 4-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781467718059
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 327,466
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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