Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

By L. Frank Baum

  • Release Date: 1902-01-01
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 40 Ratings
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Description

The story of Claus, an orphaned human raised by various immortal creatures in an enchanted forest. When he reaches adulthood, Claus is told to live among mortals, and he is disheartened initially by poverty, war, and other negative aspects of humanity. He becomes well-known for his kindness to children, and this enthusiasm leads to the invention of the first toys. Claus eventually makes it his life's mission to bring joy to children, and this unfolds into an entertaining explanation of many Christmas traditions, including stockings, trees, and climbing chimneys. The road is not always smooth, and Claus ultimately must face the result of mortality after a lifetime of generosity.

Reviews

  • Fanciful read. Secular romp through Santa Claus lore. Vivid imagery.

    4
    By Sparky McMuffin
    Aside for wanting to read this book because of the animated special from the 80s, the other reason I read this story is because I wanted to see what inspired William Joyce. The parts that were cut from the animated special were small but epic, and I can see how those sections germinated within Joyce's mind to create his guardians series. Overall, this was not a great book, but it's a quick read, and if you're looking for something fanciful to read to your children this Christmas, you can't go wrong within its pages. It's definitely intended for children, though I will warn you that there is a battle between good and evil in the middle of the story, and evil dies. Frankly, if the war had been included in the animated special, the story might have become a memorable classic instead of an obscure final chapter in Rankin/Bass productions. I imagine budgetary restraints occluded that. The weakness of this book is that Baum set out to create an origin story for every aspect of Santa Claus. He tied them all together into this one fanciful tale, but it reads more like an encyclopedia entry than a narrative at times. There are a great deal of creative images and whimsical elements to the story, however, that should entertain, and the book should be read just to understand Santa Claus lore of the twentieth century. So much was borrowed from this work. If you are hoping for a tie-in with Jesus Christ, thought, you will be disappointed. This is a secular exploration of Santa Claus, not a religious one. As such, it stands up quite well as a modern middle grade novel with only a few, well-understood anachronisms that children familiar with Santa Claus lore shouldn't be confused by. I'm torn between ★★★½☆ and ★★★★☆, but because I will likely reread this story again one day, I'll give it ★★★★☆.
  • Review

    5
    By LGuapo2
    Marvelous, excellent, and the christmas spirit
  • Wonderful family book

    5
    By smblockv8s
    My father read this book to me when I was little at Christmas time and now I read it to my children. This story continues to delight year after year!

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