Nope, it’s the sprinkler and kiddie pool. But nevertheless, it’s time for a Christmas in July book review!
Santa Clauses by Bob Raczka (Carolrhoda Books, September 2014) is a great book for the upcoming holiday season. With 25 different haiku poems, Santa prepares himself and his workshop for the upcoming Christmas holiday.
I have always loved haiku. They are so simple, and yet so complex. Each one must have a moment of break in it that makes the reader pause and think. Yet, the limited number of syllables means that each word must pack a punch. All together, each haiku must capture the essence of one part of Christmas.
Bob Raczka succeeds in this. Take this first example, the one on the cover flap:
White envelopes float
from my overfilled mailbox—
December’s first storm.
This is just the beginning. For each day of December until Christmas, Santa writes a haiku to capture the fun parts of the season: making snowmen and snow angels, finding the perfect tree, trimming the tree, decorating with lights, and, of course for the North Pole, creating storms out of the sawdust in the workshops. I particularly loved the haikus in which Santa describe Mrs. Claus (December 3rd and December 18th are my favorite), although there are plenty of favorites for the kids to enjoy too!
The illustrations are soft drawings with a Scandinavian feel (the letters that appear are Runic) that give Christmas a new color scheme: instead of bright scarlet red and bright kelly green, Christmas is a more subtle crimson red, with various shades of deep blue as contrast. The icy and stark cold North Pole perfectly matches the color scheme, as well as the poetic side of Santa that we’ve never seen before!
Santa Clauses will be a fun book to add to our Christmas holiday reading list. With one haiku a day, it would be a perfect reading to anticipate each night in December!
Note: I received a digital review copy.