Bulldog Library

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

on December 11, 2013

JF Baum    •    Fantasy

JacketAs an infant, Claus is adopted by the beautiful wood-nymph Necile.  He is raised in the magical forest of Burzee and grows to become a friend of all the immortals.

When Claus comes of age, the great woodsman of the forest, Ak, takes him on a journey that will change his life.  Ak shows Claus the plight of mankind, the struggle to eek out a meager living through toil and strife.  Ak shows Claus the plight of the children, dejected and neglected  little ones unable to bear the hardships of life.  At the conclusion of this journey, Claus knows that he must leave Burzee and share in the hardships of mankind.

Claus moves to the laughing valley.  It is in this new home that Claus finds his life’s work in making toys that delight the children of the world.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus was written by L. Frank Baum, the Royal Historian of Oz, in 1902.  This book not a history of the life of the real Saint Nicholas.  This is a fairy adventure, as readers would expect from Baum.  There are Wood Nymphs to guard the trees of Burzee, Ryls to guard the flowers, Knooks to guard the animals, and Fairies to guard mankind.  There is even a race of invisible giants who cause mischief and hate Claus.  While this story provides some fictional explanations for Christmas traditions, such as stockings and trees, a very large portion of the book focuses on the fairy creatures.  This focus on fantasy detracts from the Christmas spirit readers might expect.

While this book is recommended for readers who love the work of L. Frank Baum, the true story of the life and adventures of the real Saint Nicholas is even more interesting than Baum’s fairy tale account.  Readers interested in the real life and adventures of Santa Claus might prefer a biography of Saint Nicholas.

Interest Level: grades 4-8  •  AR: 7.0

Baum, L. F. (1902). The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.  Indianapolis, IN: The Bowen-Merril Company.

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