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The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (original 1902; edition 2008)

by L. Frank Baum

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6001616,314 (3.89)10
Member:weber93
Title:The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Authors:L. Frank Baum
Info:Digireads.com (2008), Paperback, 88 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, Kindle Edition
Rating:***1/2
Tags:L. Frank Baum, male authors, American authors, fiction, fantasy, children's literature, 20th century, classic, Theosophist authors, Christmas, Santa Claus

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The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum (1902)

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This book has been made into a cartoon movie that I came upon one Christmas season but it was only bits and pieces that I saw. I was caught by the movie but unfortunately I couldn't get the channel to tell me what the show was nor could I figure it out so it disappeared back into the darkness of oblivion for me even though I kept thinking about it.

A few years ago my sister found out that it was actually a book and the author while she chose to gift this book for me for my birthday instead of the movie. I have read it and enjoyed it while hoping still someday that I will be able to finish the movie.

L. Frank Baum has never been much of an author for me although I must say his books are much better than the movie adaptations. As the knowledge came to me for the author I was disappointed a bit. Just like his famous series this book is inhabited with creatures, plants and beings that have come from Baum's creative mind. They are based upon life but given a new meaning that defies the archaic beliefs such as fairies that aren't repulsed by metal but instead act as guardians of mankind.

What caught my attention with this book is the fact that this book is about the generosity of man and that are efforts are never in main. It gives a very reasonable and sturdy framework that seems to answer all the questions that one may have for Santa Claus including his origins, how he has lived for so long and why certain Christmas traditions have come into being. It goes into the history of children having been forsaken or neglected by their parents until one person (the famous Claus) chose to have pity and make it his mission to ease the troubles of their life until they are made by nature to take it up.

This is definitely no Nativity tale and mentions nothing of the Lord Jesus but Baum still admits that even in his world of immortals there is a Supreme Being who is still in charge.

The plot and writing is simple to follow while the story is quite beautiful in my opinion. This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas-time tales. And for me it is a classic! ( )
  | Sep 15, 2014 | edit |
I enjoyed this story of the baby who grows up to become Santa. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
One of my all time favorite books. when each of my kids entered 3rd grade I would buy a copy and donate it to the class to be read aloud by the teacher. ( )
  JaneeKline | Jun 17, 2013 |
A fun read about the origins of Santa Claus. Quite different from the old TV specials. ( )
  TnTexas | Mar 31, 2013 |
Originally published in 1902, this lighthearted holiday fantasy from L. Frank Baum, an author best known for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was one of the perennial favorites of my own reading childhood. I read it again and again as a little girl, never growing tired of its story of good old Santa Claus, and how he came to be. Opening in the magical Forest of Burzee, a fairytale locale that would recur from time to time in Baum's other work, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus chronicles the coming of a human infant to the immortal wood, his adoption by the wood nymph Necile - nicknamed Claus, or "Little One," by his adoptive mother, the child was sometimes referred to as Neclaus, or "Necile's Little One," a name that was eventually corrupted, in human speech, to "Nicholas" - his carefree youth amongst the immortals, and his round-the-world journey as a young man with Ak, the Master Woodsman of the World, a journey that introduced him to the reality of human suffering. Leaving behind his sheltered life in the forest, Claus settled in the Laughing Valley, eventually finding, through his joyful interaction with the children of men, whom he loved and always tried to please, his calling as a toy-maker. Would Claus - eventually called Santa Claus by the people of the world, who considered his goodness to their children nothing short of saintly - be able to continue with his good work? Or would enemies, in the form of the evil Awgwas, or even old age, put an end to it...?

Delightful, engrossing, entertaining - these are just some of the adjectives that spring to mind when I think of this fantastic treatment of the legend of Santa Claus. So great was my childhood enjoyment of it, that I have put off rereading it as an adult, lest it should fail to live up to my memory of it. Happily, I can report that this has not proved to be the case, and that The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is (with one notable exception), every bit as wonderful as I remember it being. If one enjoys Baum's storytelling style (and I do), then the tale offered here will be a pleasure to read. The story itself, with its creative interpretation of and explanation for so many of the Santa-related traditions of Christmas, is engaging. I find the mixture of familiar and unfamiliar elements - Baum takes customs that are themselves well known (Santa's reindeer, the hanging of stockings by the fireplace), but comes up with unexpected and creative explanations of how they came to be - quite appealing, and I love the larger world of immortals into which he fits his narrative. There is a jolly, goodhearted kindness to the story, and its hero, that never fails to speak to me, although I am sad to say that my recent reread has revealed one less-than-appealing scene - there is a brief passage, in which Santa brings gifts to a family where the parents are said not to value their children at all, that is clearly meant to be about (from the artwork, and from the way in which the home is described) Native Americans of the plains region - that I never noticed as a child reader.

With the caveat that adults should be aware of this scene - Native Americans/Indians are not mentioned in the text, so the young reader might skip on by it - and prepared to discuss it, I do recommend this (mostly) sweet little book to young readers who enjoy Santa and/or Christmas fantasy. Even with its one flaw, in my eyes The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus definitely deserves its status as a classic. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. Frank Baumprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Apple, MaxAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my son Harry Neal Baum
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Have you heard of the great Forest of Burzee?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805038221, Hardcover)

A beautiful new edition of L. Frank Baum's Christmas classic with illustrations by Michael Hague

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 imaginative detail.

Acclaimed children's artist Michael Hague has created strikingly beautiful illustrations for this wondrous holiday story. In delicate ink drawings and lush watercolor paintings he brings to life that most beloved of all childhood heroes, Santa Claus, in a gorgeous Christmas classic that will be cherished for years to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:41 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A human foundling child, adopted by a wood-nymph and raised by the creatures who inhabit a magical forest, grows up to be the immortal Santa Claus.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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