cover image Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole

Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole

Bob Raczka, illus. by Chuck Groenink. Lerner/Carolrhoda, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4677-1805-9

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.)