The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Overview

In this enchanting illustrated children’s novel from L. Frank Baum, the author of the beloved book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, we learn about Santa Claus’s life—where he came from, where he got his magical powers, and how he became the jolly man who gives out gifts for Christmas. The story was first published in 1902 and is now available in a richly illustrated edition that blends delicate ink drawings and lush watercolor paintings by acclaimed artist Michael Hague. Richly imagined, strikingly beautiful, and ...

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The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

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Overview

In this enchanting illustrated children’s novel from L. Frank Baum, the author of the beloved book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, we learn about Santa Claus’s life—where he came from, where he got his magical powers, and how he became the jolly man who gives out gifts for Christmas. The story was first published in 1902 and is now available in a richly illustrated edition that blends delicate ink drawings and lush watercolor paintings by acclaimed artist Michael Hague. Richly imagined, strikingly beautiful, and filled with the magic of Christmas, this is the quintessential edition of this classic holiday tale.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hague's admirers and Oz aficionados may also be interested in The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum. First published in 1902, the book follows Santa Claus from the time he's a baby through his years of toy-making and on to his role as deliverer of Christmas gifts; Hague contributes red-ink drawings as well as watercolors. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Santore sets Baum's 1902 story about the origins of Santa Claus in a lavishly detailed wooded fantasy landscape. The wood-nymph Necile (she strongly resembles Waterhouse's “Lady of Shalott”) adopts a human child, who she names Claus. As he grows up and leaves the forest, he devotes himself to the welfare of poor children by building toys, eventually enlisting magic reindeer and constructing a sleigh. Santa's evolution from humble woodsman to the man in the red suit will delight readers and answer a few questions to boot. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3–In this significantly shortened version of Baum’s 1902 tale, readers learn that Santa Claus, abandoned as a baby, was adopted and raised by a wood-nymph in the magical forest of Burzee. After he grows up and learns about the human world he came from, he decides to devote his life to helping children, and the rest is history. Baum’s original language, florid and wordy, has been pared down into a more readable and modern narrative. The large format, brimming with plenty of lush full- and double-page paintings depicting fairies, sprites, Knooks, and a very comely young Claus, will appeal to many children. The Land of Faerie plotline is a tad odd, but all the elements of Santa Claus’s story (the reindeer, the chimney-clambering) are reassuringly present.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Originally published in 1902, this fantasy imagines that Santa Claus was once a human foundling adopted by woodland fairies, who grows up surrounded by elves, Knooks, Ryls, and other "immortals" of the natural world. Claus decides that his mission in life should be to bring joy to mortal children by making and distributing toys. His good works spread worldwide, and the mantle of immortality is bestowed upon him. This is a long and old-fashioned tale full of improvised fairy lore, a battle against the evil Awgwas, and unique explanations of such Christmas customs as hanging stockings. Claus is an appealing character, although he never quite comes fully alive. The illustrations, both full-color watercolor paintings and monotone ink drawings, add lots of Rackham-like charm to this handsomely designed book. An attractive addition but not necessary for most collections.-E. M. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

School Library Journal, October 2009
“The large format, brimming with plenty of lush full- and double-page paintings depicting fairies, sprites, Knooks, and a very comely young Claus, will appeal to many children.”

Publishers Weekly, 10/26/09
“…lavishly detailed…Santa’s evolution from humble woodsman to the man in the red suit will delight readers and answer a few questions to boot.”

The Columbus Dispatch, 11/15/09
“In 1902, the creator of The Wizard of Oz series published his imaginings of the origin of Santa Claus. St. Nick was raised by woodland fairies, grew to love children and wanted to be their champion, and eventually became immortal. Santore's page-filling paintings are equally magical.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477810187
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Pub
  • Publication date: 10/7/2014

Meet the Author

L. Frank Baum (1856–1919) was an American author of books, short stories, and poetry. He is best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and thirteen other books about the Land of Oz. His books have been adapted for stage and screen and continue to be popular today.

Biography

Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, Aunt Em -- where would our national psyche be without The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? L. Frank Baum, who created a story with an indelible, sometimes haunting impression on so many people, led a life that had a fairy-tale quality of its own.

Baum was born in 1856 to a family that had made a fortune in the oil business. Because he had a heart condition, his parents arranged for him to be tutored privately at the family’s Syracuse estate, “Roselawn.” As an adult, though, Baum flourished and failed at a dizzying variety of ventures, from writing plays to a stint with his family’s medicinal oil business (where he produced a potion called “Baum’s Castorine”), to managing a general store, to editing the Aberdeen Pioneer in Aberdeen, South Dakota. In 1897, following his mother-in-law’s advice, Baum wrote down the stories that he told his children. The firm of Way & Williams published the stories under the title Mother Goose in Prose, with illustrations by Maxfield Parrish, and Baum’s career as a writer was launched.

With the publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900, Baum gained instant success. The book, lavishly produced and featuring voluptuous illustrations by William Wallace Denslow, was the bestselling children’s book of the year. It also set a new standard for children’s literature. As a commentator for the September 8, 1900 New York Times described it, “The crudeness that was characteristic of the oldtime publications...would now be enough to cause the modern child to yell with rage and vigor...” The reviewer praised the book’s sheer entertainment value (its “bright and joyous atmosphere”) and likened it to The Story of the Three Bears for its enduring value. As the film industry emerged in the following years, few books were as manifestly destined for adaptation, and although it took almost four decades for a movie studio to translate Baum’s vision to film, the 1939 film did for the movies what Baum’s book had done for children’s literature: that is, raised the imaginative and technical bar higher than it had been before.

The loss of parents, the inevitable voyage toward independence, the yearning for home -- in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum touched upon a child’s primal experiences while providing a rousing story of adventure. As his health declined, Baum continued the series with 14 more Oz books (his publisher commissioned more by other authors after his death), but none had quite the effect on the reading public that the first one did. Baum died from complications of a stroke in 1919.

Good To Know

Baum founded the National Association of Window Trimmers and published a magazine for the window-trimming trade – he also raised exotic chickens.

Buam was married to Maud Gage, a daughter of the famous women’s rights advocate Matilda Joslyn Gage.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Floyd Akers, Laura Bancroft, George Brooks, Edith Van Dyne, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, Suzanne Metcalf, Louis F. Baum, Lyman Frank Baum (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 15, 1856
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chittenango, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      May 6, 1919
    2. Place of Death:
      Hollywood, California

Table of Contents

Lyman Frank Baum began his career as a journalist but established his reputation by writing for children. In this children's fantasy, Santa Claus begins his life as an infant abandoned in the woods. He's adopted by a nymph and as he grows up we follow his adventures that eventually lead him to make the biggest decision of his life: to become the benevolent, gift-giving figure we all know.
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