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Lerner Publishing Group
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What is Santa up to in the weeks leading up to the big day? According to Raczka, he is practicing his haiku, one for each day of 25 days leading up to Christmas. The quiet verses are sometimes beautiful ("Mother Nature trims / her tree with icicles, snow, / pinecones, and moonlight") and sometimes wry ("Which is packed tighter, / the sack full of toys or the / red suit full of me?"), and they're always paired with Groenink's subdued colored-pencil illustrations of the North Pole and Santa's preparations for the holiday, which include not only making toys but also some everyday winter activities, such as sprinkling sand on a slippery stoop. A heartwarming and cozy offering that encourages appreciating small moments of delight. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLCReview by School Library Journal Reviews
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 [Page 68]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Twenty-five short poems count down the days until Christmas, a busy time for Santa and the elves at the North Pole.