Quiet winter scenes / Santa ponders in writing, / sharing the season.

READ REVIEW

SANTA CLAUSES

SHORT POEMS FROM THE NORTH POLE

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)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1805-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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ALWAYS MORE LOVE

An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed...

TURKEY'S EGGCELLENT EASTER

From the Turkey Trouble series

The fourth entry in the Turkey Trouble series finds Turkey and his animal friends attending a children’s Easter egg hunt at a park next to Turkey’s farm.

Turkey and his pals want to win an “eggstraspecial” prize at the egg hunt, but the event is only for children—not animals. So the group of animal friends decides to attend the egg hunt in disguise and treat their adventure as a “secret mission.” Their disguises include dark glasses and costumes suggesting a rabbit, a bee, and a bunch of daffodils, but each attempt to participate in the egg hunt is rebuffed by the human attendees. The animals work together to create a large, egg-shaped costume for Turkey from a wicker basket, and Turkey and the boy who finds him in egg mode both win special prizes. Turkey shares his prize of a huge, jelly-bean–topped pizza with all his animal buddies. The mildly humorous story has funny animal characters, inventive action, and lots of puns incorporating “egg” into other words. Cartoon-style watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add to the humor with amusing animal expressions and the ongoing series theme of silly costumes. Several of the children at the egg hunt are children of color; the other human characters present white.

Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed series. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4037-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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