Written by J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrated by Rob Shepperson
- Donder and Blitzen is a poem about two antlered friends who have spent years as “stablemates” and “celestial greats” traveling to the far reaches of the world.
- Ten-Point Snowman Inspection is a rhyming list poem with a series of questions for a snowman maker to check out his/her icy creation to determine if it’s worthy of a stamp of approval from Inspector Snow.
- Santa’s Summer Vacation is a poem in which eight reindeer fly Santa and Mrs. Claus to Santa Cruise where the couple plan to spend two months relaxing and enjoying themselves away from the elves.
- Snow Star is a rhebus poem with directions for pressing a February snowflake in a book and then opening the book the next December to find a snow star printed in the book—a perfect present for Christmas Eve.
- Winter Scene is a lovely rhyming concrete poem printed in the shape of a Christmas ornament.
- What Everybody Wants for Christmas tells readers what Mouse, Bird, Squirrel, Fish, Cat, and Dog are hoping for: Limburger cheese, Jujubes, a honey-roasted nut, chocolate sprinkles, eggnog, and the mailman, respectively.
- The Gingerbread House Song is a poem composed of five rhythmic quatrains that tells us what this edible structure is made of—including, among other things, chocolate nougat, licorice twisters, gumdrops, blue jelly beans, and graham crackers.
- A Brown King, a poem of a more serious nature, is about one of the Magi who visited the stable in Bethlehem.
Here are the full texts of a limerick and another poem from Under the Kissletoe:
Mrs. S. Claus
by J. Patrick Lewis
A woman named Mrs. S. Claus
Deserves to be heard from because
She sits in her den
Icing gingerbread men
While her husband gets all the applause.
Why Santa Sometimes Prefers the Front Door
by J. Patrick Lewis
When he splendid-
On the coals!
Lewis provides a nice variety of topics and poetic forms in the poems he wrote for this book. There’s plenty of humorous verse between the covers of Under the Kissletoe—and lots of rhythm and rhyme and wordplay as well. Rob Shepperson, who has done editorial drawings for the New York Times and Washington Post, adds to the levity of the funny poems with his droll full-page and spot illustrations. Under the Kissletoe would make a great pre-holiday gift for a child, an elementary school classroom, or school library.
From the Wordsong Website: Excerpts of journal reviews of Under the Kissletoe
NOTE: I would like to thank J. Patrick Lewis for giving me permission to print the full text of two of his poems from Under the Kissletoe.
Written by Harriet Ziefert
Paintings by Karla Gudeon
Blue Apple Books, 2008
Hanukkah Haiku is a picture book in which the illustrations work as a perfect complement to Ziefert's short poems about lighting the candles on a Menorah (Hanukkiah) each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. Each two-page spread includes a full-page illustration on the left side and a haiku and a close-up illustration of a Menorah on the right hand side. With each turn of the page, one finds another candle lit in the Menorah and a haiku about the traditions of this holiday—spinning a dreidel, frying latkes, giving gifts of gelt, listening to the story of the Maccabees. Gudeon’s celebratory illustrations done in jewel tones are gorgeous. Her pictures, borders, and endpapers abound with intricate patterns and symbols of the holiday. The back matter of the book includes the traditional Hanukkah blessings in both Hebrew and English and information about the Shammash and lighting of the candles. Hanukkah Haiku would make a fine addition to a collection of holiday books.
From the Blue Apple Books Website: Reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal.