Read The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum Online

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Every child knows about Santa Claus, the jolly man who brings gifts to all on Christmas. There are many stories that tell of his life, but the delightful version relayed in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is by far the most charming and original of all. Only L. Frank Baum, the man who created the wonderful land of Oz, could have told Santa's tale in such rich and imEvery child knows about Santa Claus, the jolly man who brings gifts to all on Christmas. There are many stories that tell of his life, but the delightful version relayed in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is by far the most charming and original of all. Only L. Frank Baum, the man who created the wonderful land of Oz, could have told Santa's tale in such rich and imaginative detail....

Title : The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780517205792
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus Reviews

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2018-12-22 17:55

    Holy crap on a Christmas Cookie! I wanted to do Christmas in July. So I'm going to read 4 of these books that are short and have beautiful covers. I will add my little Christmas thing another time as I'm not getting on the computer as much as I told you all 🎅Oh My Goodness! What a sweet little book! I loved that Santa was adopted by immortals and the story of how he became Santa. I like this story best as his origin story. The fantastical imagery in the mind of all the creatures. Such joy 😊Now, I wonder if I could talk Santa into bringing me books and movies and shows (oh my) for my Christmas in July 😄 I know, I'm a nerd! Lol, I rhymed that one part and just realized it 😂 God, I'm old but act like I'm 12 and feel 115, but it's a good right?

  • Candi
    2019-01-19 14:52

    This was a delightful tale of the origins of Santa Claus in a world full of magical, immortal creatures. This was not your traditional Santa at the North Pole story, nor did I expect it to be, coming from such an imaginative writer as L. Frank Baum. This story had the wondrous feel of a fairy tale, with Santa being raised by a wood nymph and protected by the Master Woodsman of the World. Baum illuminates the beauty of nature in his descriptions of Santa's surroundings, and reaffirms Santa's love for children and humanity. I shared this book with my ten year old daughter as a read-aloud this Christmas season, and what really drew us in were the beautiful illustrations. They were truly enchanting and, at times, whimsical. We often peeked ahead to see what pictures were next to be revealed!I recommend this book to children and any young-at-heart who enjoys an original story and lovely illustrations!

  • Susan Budd
    2018-12-26 16:52

    We will not Banish Magic from the World, not while Jolly Old Saint Nicholas keeps the Spirit of Christmas Alive in our Hearts! The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1902) by L. Frank Baum is the classic biography of the legendary man in the red suit ~ Santa Claus. Child of the ForestAs with most biographies, I enjoyed the chapters on his childhood the best. Santa’s story begins in an enchanted forest inhabited by fairies, knooks, ryls, and nymphs ~ immortal and changeless beings who have peopled the forest since the beginning. As a foundling, Santa (whose name at this point in his life is merely Claus) was nursed by a lioness and then adopted by a wood-nymph. His defining traits of kindness, goodness, and generosity can easily be traced back to his idyllic childhood among the nymphs in the Forest of Burzee. “His thoughts and words were sweet and gentle, for the nymphs knew no evil and their hearts were pure and loving” (p. 16-17). Santa’s formative years with the immortal beings also left him with a life-long love and respect for all of nature’s creatures. Is it any wonder that living in the forest with the nymphs, Santa would grow up to be a young man who would not kill a tree or crush a flower or even tear up a single blade of grass? When Santa moved from the Forest of Burzee to the Laughing Valley, he lived in harmony with the valley’s other inhabitants ~ the wildflowers and the grass, the cowslips, daffodils, and dandelions, the butterflies and the bees, and the beautiful sacred trees. “His life among the nymphs who guarded the Forest had taught him that a live tree is sacred, being a created thing endowed with feeling” (p. 38).Because he would do no violence by plowing the earth, he ate the food the ryls brought him ~ milk, bread, honey, apples and grapes (p. 43).Santa also knew the language of animals. “He could sing the songs of the bees, recite the poetry of the wood-flowers and relate the history of every blinking owl in Burzee” (p. 21).Is it any surprise that when he made toy animals, he used only fur from animals who died naturally? “Many animals perished in the Forest, from one cause or another, and their fur was brought to Claus that he might cover with it the small images of beasts he made for playthings” (p. 123).The same is true of the leather used for the reindeers’ harnesses.“This leather was cut from the skins of lions that had reached such an advanced age that they died naturally...” (p. 122-123).I loved Baum's beautiful description of the enchanted forest and the fairy folk who dwell within it. I loved the sweet image of Santa in his flower-filled valley "exchanging jokes with the light-hearted butterflies" (p. 41). But most of all I loved learning that Santa Claus is a tree-hugging eco-friendly vegetarian!Friend of ChildrenWhen Santa grew to manhood he left the primeval paradise of the Forest of Burzee for the pastoral beauty of the Laughing Valley. He had learned about the “doom of mankind” and he courageously chose to share it. As a young man, Santa posed philosophical questions about the meaning of life and about social justice. When Ak, the Master Woodsman, showed him the world outside, he saw other human beings for the first time. He saw suffering and he felt compassion, especially for the children. When Ak explained that man was doomed to toil, grow old, and die, Santa asked what everyone asks in the face of human suffering ~ Why be born? When Ak tells him “to be helpful to the world” (p. 27), Santa sets out to bring joy to world. We tend to think of Santa primarily as a toymaker and indeed this book includes several chapters on the innovation and development of his toys, but toy making is just the outward sign of Santa’s mission. Imagine Santa’s reaction upon seeing other human beings for the first time, seeing their hard lives, their suffering, their children’s suffering, and then comparing it to his own idyllic childhood. Toy making is just Santa’s way of spreading cheer among the most disenfranchised members of human society. It’s easy to forget that children didn’t always have the legal protections they have now. In Santa’s early days, children had no rights at all. They were exploited for child labor and subjected to child abuse. It was only in 1875 that the world’s first organization for child protection was founded ~ the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Before then, children had no official protection. But they had Santa. He befriended them, played with them, listened to them, comforted them. He was always merry, always optimistic. He always had time for them. And the more attention Santa lavished on the children, the more the adults came to realize that their children deserved to be treated better. So the lives of children were considerably improved because of Santa’s esteem and devotion.Once Santa wondered whether he should deliver toys to rich children as well as poor ones. Rich children had wondrous luxuries, he thought, but poor children had nothing to amuse them. He consulted with his foster-mother, the wood-nymph Necile, and with the Fairy Queen, and those wise beings counseled him to give to all children, rich and poor alike. And that is what Santa does, for he knows that rich children are not necessarily happier than poor children. Folk Saint “It is possible for any man, by good deeds, to enshrine himself as a Saint in the hearts of the people” (p. 108).Could anyone doubt that Santa would come to be considered a saint of the people? He devoted his whole life to doing good. He loved children and animals and flowers and trees. In his brotherhood with all of nature’s creatures, he resembles Saint Francis of Assisi. In his love of children, he calls to mind Jesus blessing the little ones ~“Let the children come to me” (Matthew 19:14). So sacred is this work of befriending children that the Mantle of Immortality was bestowed upon him. The mantle was thought to be created in the beginning. If one believes this, and I see no reason not to, it means that the “Supreme Master” knew it would be needed some day (p. 142), knew the world would need Santa Claus. Baum’s book includes answers to many of the questions curious children might ask about Santa:• where he came from• how he started making toys• why he only brings gifts on Christmas Eve• the origins of the reindeer• the origins of stockings• the origins of Christmas trees• how he travels through warmer climes• how he enters homes without chimneys• why he deputizes parents to fill stockings and trim treesBut this book also subtly paints a deeper portrait of Santa than just the merry toy maker. Santa has always inhabited two worlds ~ the World of Fairy and the World of Man. A good symbol of this is his home in the Laughing Valley ~ a liminal place between the two worlds. Here he receives help from the fairies of the enchanted forest. Yet here also is the place he performs his labor of love for mankind. He is of both worlds, yet he is also of neither. Although he was nursed by a lioness and raised by a wood nymph, he is neither a forest creature nor a fairy. Although he is a man, he grew up knowing nothing of mankind. Never in the history of the world has there been another such as he. And there never will be. The immortal Santa Claus is in a class by himself.The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus also sparkles with Baum’s beautiful writing. Here is a lovely example:“The air was sharp and frosty and the starlight touched the snowflakes and made them glitter like countless diamonds” (p. 116). The fairy-like prose is complemented by some (though not all) of Mary Cowles Clark’s charming illustrations. Each of the three sections begins with a full-page black & white illustration of Santa ~ first as a child, then as a young man, and finally as an old man. And each chapter includes marginal illustrations as well. There are nature scenes, woodland creatures, whimsical fairy folk with pointed shoes and wings and antennae, happy children, Christmas trees, and all manner of toys and dolls. My edition of this book is the 2015 Penguin Christmas Classic in red hardcover with a pretty book jacket and end papers.

  • mark monday
    2019-01-05 13:57

    in his wonderful Oz series, Baum usually does a good job at keeping his more precious & cutesy-poo tendencies in check. his bracingly no-nonsense little heroines and often delightfully bizarre imagination help to keep things treacle-free. unfortunately no such barriers have been put in place for this story of the early life of Santa Claus; the result is much strained mawkishness and, egads, baby talk. sugar overload! however I did enjoy the entirely pagan origins of Jolly Saint Nick - a foundling taken under the protection of assorted sprites, nymphs, and fairies of an ancient forest. Baum is at his best here when naming and describing all of the varied immortal princes and princesses, and the inhumans they rule over. plus there is a (very brief) Battle Between the Forces of Good and Evil, and that's always fun.

  • ❀Julie
    2019-01-11 15:01

    I really enjoyed this book as it took me back to my childhood with memories of how I truly believed. This is a different but very imaginative and old-fashioned story about the origins of Santa Claus. It was an uplifting, quick read, and it answered all the unrelenting questions my 7-year-old has been asking me this holiday season. Next time I will read the illustrated version to my kids.

  • Petra
    2019-01-21 11:14

    I finished and enjoyed this story quite a bit. It's sweet and a wonderful story to read to kids in December. It's warm, touching, brings the love & joy of Santa into the mind. It's told as a history, that each child would be able to envision being true. True, a few details are changed but, in essence, this is the story of Santa Claus and one to delight young (and old) hearts.

  • J.P.
    2019-01-20 17:01

    A beautiful book. Will definitely make you feel the warmth and love and giving-nature of Santa Claus in your heart this time of year. (Also discovered that the soundtrack to the movie Amelie is the perfect soundtrack to this book.)If you have particular books that you read every Christmas - A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, etc. - add this to the list.

  • Mischenko
    2019-01-04 10:14

    Wonderful!Perfect read for this time of year. Written beautifully and great for reading out loud to children."With a ho, ho, ho! And a ha, ha, ha!And a ho, ho, ha, ha, hee!Now away we go O'er the frozen snow,As merry as we can be!There are many joys In our load of toys, As many a child will know; We'll scatter them wide On our wild night ride O'er the crisp and sparkling snow!"So glad to have finally read it...

  • Lesle
    2019-01-14 14:06

    Baum wrote this Fairy Tale two years after Oz, 1902.A beautiful tale of Claus and how he grew up in the forest of Oz to became Santa Claus. Different parts of the story are quite delightful Necile, the whittling of the first toy cat to using clay to make dolls all gifts that he loved giving to children in need. Did not care for the dark Awgwas, jealous beings. The meaning behind all things Christmas, Stockings, Tree and Christmas eve. I loved Flossie and Glossie in helping Claus use the fireplaces to enter the homes and how Santa became Santa. The tale is very warming, charming and full of fantasy that is Frank Baum!I cannot wait to reread this next year and start a new tradition every Christmas!

  • The Lit Bitch
    2019-01-04 11:00

    This short, quick read is perfect for children and adults alike.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 all he meets.One of the things that I love about Penguin edition books, is their ability to design interactive, intriguing editions for readers. This is just the kind of book I can see families sitting down after Christmas Eve dinner to read aloud together. It’s short and will get readers in the holiday spirit. The inside has beautiful illustrations for reader and audience to enjoy.The book itself is beautifully designed—with foil-stamped jackets, decorative end papers, and nameplates for personalization—and printed in a small trim size that makes them perfect stocking stuffers!The cover of this book just begs to be read. When it first arrived in my mailbox I instantly fell in love with the charming red cardinal on the cover! Penguin knows how to do the holidays right by designing sweet covers for wonderful holiday reads and gifts. This book has been out as a decoration on my table since Thanksgiving and everyone who comes by to visit always picks it up and takes a look!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. While this story of Santa is a little different from traditional Santa stories (this one Santa is in the pagan world so to speak), it’s still super festive and a version that will thrill children and adults!See my full review here

  • Sara Santos
    2018-12-23 09:58

    4,5

  • El
    2019-01-02 10:08

    What an adorable little book. I picked it up now because Christmas! and also because I needed something a bit fluffy for a few moments. It fit the bill perfectly as I was able to plow through it in just over an hour. Anyone familiar with Baum's more popular Oz series knows that his writing does not require a lot of focus, yet his stories are charming enough that a reader can't help but give it the attention it deserves.This book covers the life of Santa Claus - when he was found by wood nymphs, how he started making toys for children, how he made friends with reindeer (sorry, kids, no Rudolph here!), how he gained his immortality, and everything else we know and love about the story of Santa Claus.Of course, this is the Americanized version of the Santa Claus story, about the jolly, old, white dude, but there's a bit more too, like his elves aren't quite the familiar elves we know. He knows Jack Frost, but doesn't care much for him 'cause Jack Frost is sort of a dick (something that comes up in a sanitized way in the animated film, Rise of the Guardians, if you're interested). I don't have children, but I imagine that kids have a lot of questions like "Why does Santa do this?" and "Why does Santa do that?" because I know I asked a lot of questions when I was a kid. This book answers a lot of those questions. But, again, it's the same information we all seem to know. (At least in America.)Baum wrote this book for one of his sons, which I think is adorable. But the story didn't take off the same way the Oz books did because people are fiends and only like what they know. I enjoyed this book because it was different from what I expect from Baum. But at the same time, it's still the jolly, old, white dude that we've grown up knowing and loving. It's a slightly more pagan version of his life, which is refreshing, but really just one culture's interpretation. Therefore, it's not a very universal story, and I wonder if that wasn't why it didn't gain as much popularity as his Oz books.In any case, Merry fucking Christmas and shit. I hope it's jolly.

  • Matt
    2019-01-03 16:09

    This is really a fine children's book. Like any good children's literature, it is equally enjoyable for adults. Placing Santa Claus firmly in the pagan world of fairies, woodland spirits, and other such folktale powers, Baum reminds us that Santa - despite the relation to the Christian St. Nick - is clearly an embodyment of the pagan celebration of joy, light, and life that is and has always been a massive part of Christmas.The book presents a very likeble Santa Claus and is highly original. Most interesting, Baum's Santa Claus is a champion of children, because they are helpless, and particularly poor children because they are in need. This is why Santa gives away toys for free, to ease the hard burderns of life on the little ones. I find this a healthy antidote to the CEO-like Santa we see in contemporary films, who runs a factory with assembly lines, and probably denies the Elves workman's comp and health insurance! Baum's Santa is a true champion of the downtrodden. A Folk-hero, who is no mere giver of trinkets, but a champion of social justice, an enemy of exploitation, and a hardened ally of the poor and suffering.The only reason I can't give this book 5 stars is that it is infused with the early 20th century fascinating with fairys, which comes off today as rather odd. And the book has numerous odd elements. Even worse, Baum does not use the reindeer names we know so well, but odd names like "Flossie" and "Glossie." AND THEY DON'T EVEN FLY!!!Still, I recommend this book for the Holidays. Should I ever have children, I will one day read it to them!

  • David
    2019-01-19 12:59

    Not at all what I was expecting, but then, I have just read several Oz books, so I should have known better than to think anything created by their author would conform to expectations. I found this book very charming, delighted that it situates Claus in a pagan world, eventually earning the honorific "Santa" from the parents of happy children. But he starts out as an ordinary mortal, and the other immortals must vote unanimously to give him the immortality he currently enjoys. Like the Oz books, there is lots of magic, but always described in a kind of matter-of-fact way that makes it easier to accept. Unlike Oz, which is clearly supposed to be that different place where magic is taken for granted, the Claus story is more or less our world, but I was happy to have it enchanted by the great L. Frank Baum. Highly recommended, neither for the Realist nor the Religious, but for those of us who like a nice bit of drifting in the spaces between. For the record, now that I have read this book, I definitely believe in Santa Claus. Even explains why parents might buy gifts in toy stores despite Santa's largesse, so there!

  • Katherine
    2018-12-30 13:50

    ”’In all this world there is nothing more beautiful as a happy child,’ says good old Santa Claus; and if he had his way the children would all be beautiful, for all would be happy.’”3.5 out of 5 starsSynopsis: For any parents who are panicking because their wee little munchkins are starting to raise questions, L. Frank Baum did you a great service.Biblio-BabbleThere’s An App for This and An Answer for That: The plot of the book is relatively simple to figure out because it’s exactly what the title tells you; it’s about the life and adventures of Santa Claus, the jolly old man who breaks into people’s houses every year and brings presents to relative strangers without so much as a please and thank you. Now all jokes aside, since I don’t want coal in my stocking this year, this book has the answer to all those pesky questions that children might ask as they get older and they start to do investigating about this Santa Claus dude. Why does he come down the chimney? Why do we hang up stockings? Why does he only come one night a year? Why reindeer instead of unicorns? You get the idea. It’s as if Baum compiled a list of most frequently asked questions about Santa that children had and incorporated them into the book. And he’s able to do it so effortlessly and weave it into a seamless narrative that it’s fantastical elements start to feel real.It’s a Kind of Magic: The only discrepancy that this story has is that it doesn’t take place in the North Pole, where every little muchkin is taught that Santa lives. Parents are going to have to make up a narrative for that one. However, that doesn’t make the new setting of this book any less magical. In the great forest of Burzee, Santa is raised by fairies and grows up in a setting straight out of a Disney princess movie. I fully expected one of them to just step right out and start belting out a song. The images are enchanting and the magic used in this book is just as enchanting as all the Christmas magic set out at that wonderful time of the year. Baum’s writing and world-building is excellent, and he has the ability to make the fantastical all the more real.Tomato Doesn’t Always Equal Tomahto: For those living in America (and some who don’t), you might be familiar with a Christmas special that usually airs every holiday season. It’s called Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and it’s one of those Rankin-Bass specials that utilizes stop-motion animation with puppets that look vaguely creepy. It also tells the backstory of Santa Claus (quite well, just like this book), however, they are not the same thing. I repeat, <>THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. So for those of you who think that this has all the identical elements to this book and are waiting for Bugermeister Meisterburger to pop up at any minute, it’s not going to happen. The plots are similar, but they’re two totally different beasts.SANTA DIES??!!!!: Parents and children alike might have an extreme panic moment towards the end of this book in the Old Age section because it shows that Santa might actually, :gasp: kick the bucket. As all of us adults can suspect, it doesn’t happen, but I confess I was a wee bit worried that the book would delve into that territory. It didn’t bother me to an extent, but I can see this being an issue for children who are so innocent and pure in the sense that 1)they believe in Santa, and 2)he’s immortal. So parents, please prepare your children for the scene if Santa potentially going into the Great Beyond is going to be an issue for them.**************An extremely charming, creatively written backstory on a much loved figure of Christmastime. With enough magic to fund an entire Christmas season and all the questions surrounding not only Santa Claus but various Christmas traditions in general, this magical book is the perfect Christmas fireside read.Hopefully Santa likes this review enough to not leave a lump of coal in my stocking 😉

  • Peter McQueeny
    2019-01-08 11:00

    I look forward to reading this to my children one day. As with all Baum's work, it's charming and imaginative. Anyone who has it in them to dislike this story must have a crumpled little raisin where their heart should be.That said, a book like this could never be written today. The style is the antithesis of today's fast-paced cinematic style. It's delivered in a story-time fashion, like classic fairy tales. Readers with 21st-century attention spans may find it difficult for that reason. But if you're content to imagine yourself sitting cross-legged at the foot of Uncle L. Frank Baum's rickety rocking chair, this book is an adorable and heartwarming tale.

  • Alexandra Nunney
    2019-01-09 14:52

    Such a beautiful story, and the edition that I managed to get my hands on is just gorgeous.The writing was brilliant and flowed like a dream. I loved this book so very much.Anybody who is looking for a lovely little festive story should definitely pick this up.

  • Jen Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ
    2019-01-22 11:18

    A magical story of which Baum uses various fables about Santa Claus to create his life story. Definitely on par with The Wizard of Oz books.

  • Jessika
    2019-01-11 11:49

    A whimsical children's story perfect for reading aloud this time of year! I adore all things Christmas. Chances are, if a book has Christmas in the title, on the cover, or in the synopsis, I will read it. And because I'm a huge sap for Christmas, I enjoy just about every Christmas book I read. This was a classic that I had first heard of floating around the internet, and I'm glad I've finally taken this holiday season to read it. As a kid, some of my favorite Christmas stories were those that "explained" Santa. (Hello, Rankin-Bass' Santa Claus is Coming to Town!) I had questions, and I wanted answers. And this book had them! From where the reindeer came from (I could deal the different names), to how Santa got into houses without chimneys (I never had a fireplace growing up), to how parents got involved on Christmas Eve. I loved that, and I know it's something I would have eaten up as a kid. Now, this story is very different from any of the others I had ever read/heard about Santa, but I liked that! I loved the addition of the fairies and the ryls and the knooks. It made it seem like Santa was of the earth, literally. The woodsy, earthy, fantasy feel makes for great storytelling. I can imagine this would be excellent to read aloud to some kiddos during the holidays. (For whatever reason, this was narrated, in my head, by the narrator for Rankin-Bass's The Drummer Boy--don't ask me, all I know is that it worked). Overall, I really enjoyed this take on the tradition of Santa Claus. Unlike so many, I didn't grow up with it, but I plan on including this in my future children's Christmas traditions! As a final note, the edition I read was not the Gramercy one, like I have listed on here. I actually downloaded this as a free e-book from Project Gutenberg. Yay for free classics! The only thing I have to say that I was disappointed in is that it looks like some of the other editions of this story are beautifully illustrated, which this e-book lacked. If I do decide to read this book to my future kids, I'm sure I will pick up an illustrated version of it.

  • Althesia
    2019-01-01 15:12

    Waaaahh aku pun baru tahu kalau Mr. Baum menulis kisah tentang Santa yang ternyata punya keunikan seperti yang digambarkannya pada buku yang cukup singkat ini. Pembaca akan mengenal Claus sebagai manusia biasa yang berpikir dan memulai misinya dengan cara-cara sederhana, dengan keterbatasannya, dengan halangan yang muncul dari pihak-pihak yang tidak menyukainya, bahkan tantangan yang digariskan usia untuknya. Namun sebagai manusia biasa pun kita akan melihat Claus berusaha dan betapa senyuman anak-anak menjadi kebahagiaan sederhana untuknya. Mr. Baum juga memberi tahu kalau anak-anak pada masa Claus muda tidak pernah mengenal adanya mainan, mereka konon tidak diperhatikan oleh orang tuanya, orang dewasa mengacuhkan mereka, sehingga mereka sangat senang ketika Claus datang dan mau bermain dengan mereka apalagi memberi mereka mainan-mainan pertama mereka. Sehingga anak-anak yang bahagia pada masa itu dikorelasikan dengan keberadaan mainan dalam hidup mereka.Review lengkap ada diblog ini ya

  • Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
    2019-01-02 14:53

    A whimsical tale on the origins of Santa Claus. Unlike Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, L. Frank Baum’s imaginings have not made it into the Christmas canon. I think his overwhelming success with Oz more than makes up for it though!

  • Jesse
    2019-01-11 13:09

    It has become a little holiday tradition of mine to read some kind of holiday-themed book during the week of Christmas; this ended up being this year's selection after discovering its existence the day before before boarding a plane for a family visit. And it proved to be a lovely selection, serving its intended purpose perfectly. No, it's not at all on the same level of quality as the best Oz books and can certainly be accused of constantly slipping into the saccharine, but I find the warm glow of holiday good cheer has an almost magical way of transforming even the most cloying into a type of enchantment.What I found particularly and perpetually delightful about Baum's take on the Santa Claus mythology is how he manages to reimagine even the most familiar tales and iconography in creative and ingenious ways; even the most rote and mundane elements of the Santa figure emerge to be quickly (re)cast in the curious, unexpected ways. The last section in specifically fascinating on this count, as Baum invents a process of chance and frantic necessity as the basis for most holiday traditions—the preposterous descent down chimneys, the hanging of stockings, Christmas trees, "flying" reindeer, etc. Indeed, the haphazard conscription of the reindeer to aid in toy delivery is very amusing, and here they are named Glossie and Flossie(!), later to be joined by Racer and Pacer, Reckless and Speckless, Fearless and Peerless, and Ready and Steady. (It's... not very difficult to see why those names failed to stick.) Baum was clearly writing during a period when the figure of Santa Claus was still in a fluid state of development within the public imagination, and the extreme divergences to the now-established narrative can be jarring—but I usually found it pleasurably so. The secular origins Baum imagines for Claus—which are embedded deep within a pagan world populated by fairies and other mythical beings—was quite interesting, especially as it is within this realm that Claus faces the most substantial deterrents to his generous activities. Indeed, at one point the book takes a sudden, and somewhat unconvincing, turn into The Lord of the Rings territory of grand battles between the forces of good and evil. Also deserving a mention is the gorgeous, intricate original artwork provided by Mary Cowles Clark, which renders Santa and his associates in elegant Art Nouveau-ish garb and settings I wish could have been retained more substantially in our current conception of this beloved holiday figure. Baum apparently wrote another centered around Santa (A Kidnapped Santa Claus); it's on the list for consideration for next's year's annual Christmas read.

  • Joey Woolfardis
    2019-01-04 17:59

    The writing is decent but the imagination lacks a certain truthful endeavour to it. This is not a history of Father Christmas that should be put about.Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  • Mackey St
    2018-12-25 14:04

    I adore Baum's books and glorious imagination so it was no surprise that I also thoroughly enjoyed The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. With this story Baum covers and explains nearly all of the myths and legends surrounding "Santa Claus," from his red suit, to flying reindeer, his name, his home and even his immortality. It is fantastical in origin and immortal in spirit, a treasure for all ages to read over and over again every holiday season.

  • Dana
    2019-01-05 16:55

    This was such a lovely, sweet little book on the life of Santa Claus. It's almost like The Chronicles of Narnia meets Christmas. Baum wrote a very simple book that puts you in the spirit of the holiday.

  • Melanti
    2019-01-11 17:49

    Not a bad book but a little too cute and sentimental for my current mood...But Christmas is just a couple days away at this point so it was now or never.

  • Alina Maria Ciobanu
    2019-01-02 12:13

    A beautiful original story that provides an alternative explanation of how Santa Claus became Santa Claus. :-)

  • Pamela
    2019-01-05 15:04

    The story, in and of itself is delightful! When my children were young, I owned a tattered copy. A timeless, ultra-imaginative classic, to be sure; anything by L. Frank Baum usually is. And it was one of our Christmas read aloud favorites.However . . . nostalgic memories aside, my old dated version cannot compare to this one. Sure, the story is the same: set in the land of Burzee, featuring The great Woodland Father Ak and other playful immortals such as: Sprites, Nymphs, Knooks, Fairies. The difference, then??? Master artist/illustrator Charles Santore. His illustrations are exceptionally stunning!Extravagantly Gorgeous!! Ever so masterful are his paintings, they grace walls of the most elite art galleries worldwide. And here they are, reproduced in a classic children's story. If for no other reason, consider adding this version to your Christmas themed, literary line up. It's worth purchasing for the artwork, in and of itself. The playfully imaginative classic is an endearing perk.Three/Four Star Story . . . Five Gazillion Star Illustrations.

  • Charly
    2019-01-06 11:53

    This is an attempt by L. Frank Baum to place the legend of Santa Claus within the realm of the magical inhabitants of Earth while finding ways to explain the "mysteries" of the Santa legend. It is a very clever approach and works well. It for it's time seems to have been quite advanced. Having said that I think I prefer The Autobiography of Santa Claus. Both are good reads for true believers.

  • Andrew Nguyen
    2019-01-11 09:49

    Answered many questions I had about Santa lore including the following:- Was Santa always magical? Or was he born that way?- If Santa is immortal, why does he have the appearance of an old man?- Who are Santa’s parents? Wonderfully illustrated and told like a series of fairy tales, it’s a great Christmas-time read.