IntroductionHere you'll find cover art and information about a variety of Christmas books for children that I think children will enjoy. They include a book about the birth of Christ, illustrated with artwork from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and this Christmas fairy tale about Santa Claus.
The Life and Adventures of Santa ClausTitle: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Author: L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz series
Illustrator: Charles Santore, award-winning artist and illustrator
Recommended for Ages: 5 to 11, as well as adults
Story: I was first drawn to The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Charles Santore's stunning portrait of Santa Claus on the cover. When I picked up the picture book for a closer look, I was started to see that the author was L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which was published in 1900.
In his introduction to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum talked about wanting to write a new kind of fairy tale, "in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heart-aches and nightmares are left out." He must have had that in mind when he wrote The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus two years later, in 1902. Unlike many children's stories about Santa Claus, this tale is not based on the legends of St. Nicholas.
Instead, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is a fascinating fairy tale about the human baby who is raised by a wood-nymph and grows up to become Santa Claus. The story begins in the forest of Burzee where "only the immortals, the Fairies, Knooks, Ryls, and Nymphs lived." When the wise Ak, the Master Woodsman of the world, visits the forest and tells of a human baby found in the forest, the winged wood-nymph Necile seeks, and receives, Ak's permission to keep the baby and raise him.
How this child grows up in the forest, becomes a compassionate young man, goes to live among the humans, becomes a toymaker, becomes Santa Claus and is eventually awarded the Cloak of Immortality is a delightful tale. This tale is longer than most found in picture books. A full page of text faces each full-page dramatic painting by Charles Santore. There are are also a number of double-page spreads, with illustrations showing a variety of scenes, from the forest creatures and the baby to Santa in his sleigh pulled by ten reindeer.
The imaginative story and the accompanying illustrations make The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum a picture storybook that, in addition to appealing to children, will also appeal to adults.
Publisher: Running Press Kids, an Imprint of Running Press Book Publishers