Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review: The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus

Summary: L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus was first published in 1902, two years after his Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Drawing on the attributes of Santa Claus from Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (“The Night Before Christmas”), Baum chronicles Santa’s life from his childhood in an enchanted forest—the same forest that is the source of all magic in the land of Oz—to his destiny of sharing gifts and spreading love to his fellow man. Along the way we witness him making his first toys, learn the origins of the Christmas tree and Christmas stockings, and discover the stories behind many Christmas secrets, like why Santa slides down chimneys, how he picks his reindeer, and how he delivers all his toys in one night. Later adapted into multiple animated films, and published here with the original illustrations from the first edition, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus evinces the charm, warmth, and fantasy that made L. Frank Baum’s Oz stories American classics. -- Penguin Christmas Classics

Now that it's December, I sure hope you are getting into the Christmas spirit! I am done decorating and shopping, but I still need to do all of my wrapping -- my least favorite holiday task! This week, I decided to read a few Christmas books and share them with you so you will have time to buy and read them before the 25th... and hopefully relax while getting into the holiday spirit.

Last year I received the first five books in the Penguin Christmas classics series - A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens, CHRISTMAS AT THOMPSON HALL: AND OTHER CHRISTMAS STORIES by Anthony Trollope, A MERRY CHRISTMAS: AND OTHER CHRISTMAS STORIES by Louisa May Alcott, THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Nikolai Gogol, and THE NUTCRACKER by E. T. A. Hoffmann. I have stacked them and wrapped them in a gorgeous red bow because these books are too pretty to put away. Each book has a foil-stamped jacket, decorative endpapers, and a nameplate for personalization. They are also printed in a small size so they can be presented as stocking stuffers.

This year, I received a copy of THE LIFE & ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS by L. Frank Baum -- yes the very same L. Frank Baum who wrote THE WIZARD OF OZ. I had absolutely no idea that this "Christmas classic" even existed, but I was happy to discover that this story is delightful. Mr. Baum tells Santa's story from his childhood in an enchanted forest, to his talents as a toymaker, to his ability to give toys to children of all backgrounds.

I thought THE LIFE & ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS was terrific. I loved how Mr. Baum wove details into his story to match Clement Moore's poem "The Night Before Christmas," and it was fun to see how he explained many of the things we've come to associate with Santa like reindeer, chimneys, stockings, and more. I was very impressed with his creativity and storytelling abilities.

THE LIFE & ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS is a quick read coming in around 150 pages and a perfect way to relax this time of year. In fact, I thought the book would make a great read-aloud for the entire family. Of course, Santa's story is always fun in any form, but I especially loved the wonderful messages in this story. There are just so many timeless words of wisdom that are important to remember throughout the year but especially these next few weeks.

I loved THE LIFE & ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS and the idea of these Penguin Christmas Classics. Highly recommended for gifts and personal enjoyment!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.


bermudaonion said...

This sounds like the perfect book to give me some Christmas spirit!

Beth F said...

I like that it would be good to read to the family. It's short too, so you could finish the book in a few days, read out loud.