Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus - a book review

 My friend Sandra recommended this beautifully illustrated and charming book written in 1902 by L. Frank Baum (the author of The Wizard of Oz) and illustrated by Charles Santore as a "must" to read to my Grandkids while they were here for our Christmas celebration. It was a hit, so I'm sharing it with you. Please click on each image to enlarge it.

The book tells a story of the life of Saint Nicholas.  He is found in the woods as a baby by the wood-nymph Necile who dwells in the Great Forest of Burzee, living there with the immortals, the Fairies, Knooks, Ryls, and Nymphs. She requests and is granted special permission from the Ak, the Master Woodsman of the World, to keep and raise the human child. They name him Neclaus for "Necile's little one."

Claus, as Necile calls him, grows strong and healthy and is loved by all the immortals. He knows nothing about the humans who live outside the world of the Forest. When he becomes a young man, Ak the Master Woodsman, decides Neclaus must accompany him on a journey around the world. There he is introduced to humans and understands that he is one of them and must grow old. Ak teaches him that wise humans look for ways to help the world so that their deeds live forever.

Claus is enthralled with the human children he meets and sets out to help them. He begins carving wooden toys for children who are poor and thus the legend begins. He finds flying reindeer, makes a sleigh, and travels the world on Christmas Eve leaving toys inside the children's stocking that were hung to dry by the fire. He is so loved that he is called a saint, thus earning him the name “Santa Claus.”  But because he is human, he eventually grows so old he can no longer carry out his special work.

Ak assembles all the leaders of the immortals in the ancient Forest and asks their permission to give Claus the Cloak of Immortality so he may live forever, and they agree. So for many generations to come Santa Claus continues his generous work delivering toys to children around the world on Christmas Eve.

I found the book delightful and the illustrations beautiful.  I would highly recommend it if you have kids, grandkids or greatgrandkids..


  1. This sounds like a fabulous read and the drawings are absolutely breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thankyou for sharing. I will be an uncle soon.