First published in Woodnotes #29, Summer 1996, page 52.

Snow by Steve Sanfield. Illustrated by Jeannette Winter. Philomel/Putnam, 1996,32 pages, hardback, 8¼ by 10¼ inches. $15.95 in bookstores. The 23 poems in this lavishly illustrated book for children explore the childhood delights of snow. Nowhere are the poems identified as haiku, in keeping with Sanfield’s ongoing preference for the term “hoops” for what he writes, believing “haiku” to be distinctly Japanese. Nevertheless, most of these evocative poems are rewarding haiku, or haiku-like in their sharpness. They work well together with the blue- and purple-hued illustrations to create a mood of wonder and reflection. Two choice poems from this child’s day in the snow (a recommended purchase):

A black cat

makes the snow


Bent to the ground

that plum tree I planted

on my birthday.