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)