I was looking for something else light to read before Christmas when I found, via the Book Review Blog Carnival on Maw Books, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum, reviewed at The Movieholic and Bibliophile’s Blog. Best of all, because it is in the public domain, I could jump over to Project Gutenberg and read it without having to face snowy roads trying to get to a library.
I really enjoyed this short children’s novel about Santa Claus. Claus was orphaned near the woods of Burzee, and the immortal wood nymph Necile adopted him. He is raised by the wood nymphs, with other immortals to guide him: the Knooks, who direct animals; the Ryls, who color the flowers; and the fairies, who guard humans.
As a young man, Claus learns that he is from a race of humans, completely different from the immortals, and that many humans, including children, live in poverty and lack joy in their lives. In compassion, he leaves the sheltered life of the forest to minister to these children by making toys. The rest, you could say, is history.
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus doesn’t follow some modern-day Santa traditions; there is no North Pole and the reindeer have different names. But it is a clever explanation to the magical tradition of a friendly Santa Claus and one that adults and children may enjoy.
While Santa Claus does settle down in Laughing Valley and his life overall is rather happy and carefree, the story of his life does have some violent episodes, much as The Jungle Book has violent episodes for the young Mowgli. Therefore, adults should be aware of those episodes before sharing this book with young children.
If you have reviewed The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, leave a link in the comments, and I’ll add it here.
Merry Christmas from Rebecca Reads!