An Advent Calendar in Haiku!

BookendsSanta ClausesCindy: Waiting for Christmas has never been so delightful! Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole (2014), by Bob Raczka, has a haiku for each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. Santa wears many hats, and one of them is that of a poet. On the first day a blizzard of letters to Santa blows in from the mail chute:

Wishes blowing in
from my overfilled mailbox—
December’s first storm.

Some of the poems show Santa engaged in activities that children can do while they wait for the jolly ol’ elf to make his trip down their chimney: making snow angels, stringing popcorn for the tree, listening to holiday music. Other activities are quiet observations of nature. Each of the poems provide a focus on a singular, simple joy that can be found during the hectic holiday season if we take the time to be present in the moment, as good haiku poems ask us to do. Buy this book now, and catch up on the poems you’ve missed, then mark your calendar to start reading it again next December 1.

Lynn: Did you know that Santa Claus was a poet? Readers learn in the introduction that, years ago, Mrs. Claus gave Santa a book of haiku and he has been inspired to write his own ever since. I love these poems and think young readers might be inspired to write their own versions. I also love Chuck Groenick’s charming illustrations. The pointy-eared elves and warmly-humorous details make each page a Christmas-y treat. It’s not too late to grab a copy and wrap this up for the readers on your gift list. This is a book that will be pulled out each December and loved all over again.

About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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