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The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  2,134 Ratings  ·  326 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 17th 1999 by Gramercy (first published 1902)
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A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
26th out of 823 books — 1,143 voters
A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Best Christmas Holiday Books
33rd out of 382 books — 493 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
Aug 12, 2016 mark monday rated it it was ok
in his wonderful Oz series, Baum usually does a good job at keeping his more precious & cutesy-poo tendencies in check. his bracingly no-nonsense little heroines and often delightfully bizarre imagination help to keep things treacle-free. unfortunately no such barriers have been put in place for this story of the early life of Santa Claus; the result is much strained mawkishness and, egads, baby talk. sugar overload! however I did enjoy the entirely pagan origins of Jolly Saint Nick - a ...more
❀Julie
I really enjoyed this book as it took me back to my childhood with memories of how I truly believed. This is a different but very imaginative and old-fashioned story about the origins of Santa Claus. It was an uplifting, quick read, and it answered all the unrelenting questions my 7-year-old has been asking me this holiday season. Next time I will read the illustrated version to my kids.
J.P.
Dec 08, 2013 J.P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book. Will definitely make you feel the warmth and love and giving-nature of Santa Claus in your heart this time of year. (Also discovered that the soundtrack to the movie Amelie is the perfect soundtrack to this book.)

If you have particular books that you read every Christmas - A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, etc. - add this to the list.
El
What an adorable little book. I picked it up now because Christmas! and also because I needed something a bit fluffy for a few moments. It fit the bill perfectly as I was able to plow through it in just over an hour. Anyone familiar with Baum's more popular Oz series knows that his writing does not require a lot of focus, yet his stories are charming enough that a reader can't help but give it the attention it deserves.

This book covers the life of Santa Claus - when he was found by wood nymphs,
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The Lit Bitch
Dec 21, 2015 The Lit Bitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short, quick read is perfect for children and adults alike.Baum chronicles Santa’s life from his childhood in an enchanted forest—the same forest that is the source of all magic in the land of Oz—to his destiny of sharing gifts and spreading love to all he meets.

One of the things that I love about Penguin edition books, is their ability to design interactive, intriguing editions for readers. This is just the kind of book I can see families sitting down after Christmas Eve dinner to read alo
...more
Matt
Dec 20, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has kids; and anyone who loves Christmas
This is really a fine children's book. Like any good children's literature, it is equally enjoyable for adults. Placing Santa Claus firmly in the pagan world of fairies, woodland spirits, and other such folktale powers, Baum reminds us that Santa - despite the relation to the Christian St. Nick - is clearly an embodyment of the pagan celebration of joy, light, and life that is and has always been a massive part of Christmas.
The book presents a very likeble Santa Claus and is highly original. Mos
...more
David
Oct 02, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not at all what I was expecting, but then, I have just read several Oz books, so I should have known better than to think anything created by their author would conform to expectations. I found this book very charming, delighted that it situates Claus in a pagan world, eventually earning the honorific "Santa" from the parents of happy children. But he starts out as an ordinary mortal, and the other immortals must vote unanimously to give him the immortality he currently enjoys. Like the Oz ...more
Candi
Dec 31, 2014 Candi rated it really liked it
This was a delightful tale of the origins of Santa Claus in a world full of magical, immortal creatures. This was not your traditional Santa at the North Pole story, nor did I expect it to be, coming from such an imaginative writer as L. Frank Baum. This story had the wondrous feel of a fairy tale, with Santa being raised by a wood nymph and protected by the Master Woodsman of the World. Baum illuminates the beauty of nature in his descriptions of Santa's surroundings, and reaffirms Santa's love ...more
Peter McQueeny
Jul 18, 2015 Peter McQueeny rated it really liked it
I look forward to reading this to my children one day. As with all Baum's work, it's charming and imaginative. Anyone who has it in them to dislike this story must have a crumpled little raisin where their heart should be.
That said, a book like this could never be written today. The style is the antithesis of today's fast-paced cinematic style. It's delivered in a story-time fashion, like classic fairy tales. Readers with 21st-century attention spans may find it difficult for that reason. But if
...more
Alexandra Nunney
Such a beautiful story, and the edition that I managed to get my hands on is just gorgeous.
The writing was brilliant and flowed like a dream. I loved this book so very much.
Anybody who is looking for a lovely little festive story should definitely pick this up.
Jessika
Dec 19, 2013 Jessika rated it really liked it
A whimsical children's story perfect for reading aloud this time of year!

I adore all things Christmas. Chances are, if a book has Christmas in the title, on the cover, or in the synopsis, I will read it. And because I'm a huge sap for Christmas, I enjoy just about every Christmas book I read. This was a classic that I had first heard of floating around the internet, and I'm glad I've finally taken this holiday season to read it.

As a kid, some of my favorite Christmas stories were those that "e
...more
Althesia
Waaaahh aku pun baru tahu kalau Mr. Baum menulis kisah tentang Santa yang ternyata punya keunikan seperti yang digambarkannya pada buku yang cukup singkat ini. Pembaca akan mengenal Claus sebagai manusia biasa yang berpikir dan memulai misinya dengan cara-cara sederhana, dengan keterbatasannya, dengan halangan yang muncul dari pihak-pihak yang tidak menyukainya, bahkan tantangan yang digariskan usia untuknya. Namun sebagai manusia biasa pun kita akan melihat Claus berusaha dan betapa senyuman ...more
Jen ƸӜƷ
Apr 05, 2015 Jen ƸӜƷ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
A magical story of which Baum uses various fables about Santa Claus to create his life story. Definitely on par with The Wizard of Oz books.
Jesse
It has become a little holiday tradition of mine to read some kind of holiday-themed book during the week of Christmas; this ended up being this year's selection after discovering its existence the day before before boarding a plane for a family visit. And it proved to be a lovely selection, serving its intended purpose perfectly. No, it's not at all on the same level of quality as the best Oz books and can certainly be accused of constantly slipping into the saccharine, but I find the warm glow ...more
Zaz
HO HO HO. This is a good book about how baby Claus became a young man devoted to children and, later, the well known Santa.

In the forest, a baby was abandoned. A nymph decided to adopt him and he was named Claus. Growing up he learnt he was from humankind and was very interested in children. Leaving his fairy family, he built a house and came to play with the poor kids in the village. One day, he made the first toy in the world and began a never ending big adventure.

It would have been wonderful
...more
Zerah
I'm really underwhelmed by this! Too many names and Claus wasn't a likeable character in my opinion. :/
Michael Jones
Dec 30, 2013 Michael Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful story, beautifully written. By the end of the first page I realized that this book cannot be read quickly - Baum's pacing is gentle and deliberate, with a "Once upon a time..." fairy-story quality that begs to be savored. Even with that, though, I was able to finish the book in just a few sittings. It was totally worth the time investment! I think even my fantasy story-loving thirteen-year-old might enjoy this book.

This isn't your Rankin-Bass Santa who grows up with the Kring
...more
Lila
Apr 23, 2015 Lila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel-anak, fantasy
Buku yang menyenangkan karena mendongengkan kisah hidup Santa Claus, mulai dari bayi hingga masa tuanya. Buku ini sendiri terdiri atas tiga bagian utama: masa kecil, masa dewasa dan masa tua.

Di bagian masa kecil, dikisahkan tentang bagaimana bayi mungil Claus pertama kali ditemukan di tepi Hutan Burzee oleh Ak. Hutan ini sangat istimewa karena di kedalamannya tinggal makhluk-makhluk "abadi" seperti fairie, knook, ryl dan nymph. Di bagian ini juga dikisahkan kalau St. Nicholas bukan nama aslinya,
...more
Joseph R.
Dec 16, 2015 Joseph R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, read_2015
Providing Santa Claus with a back story seems a bit unnecessary. His breadth of cultural presence is so far reaching that people don't think about where he came from. He's been around since time immemorial. He has little differences here and there but his basic characteristics are universal--big, generous, bearded old guy with a red suit. But from whence did he come?

L. Frank Baum (the writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) doesn't bother with historical or literary research. Instead, he weaves a
...more
Emma Holtrust
Dec 20, 2015 Emma Holtrust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
CHRISTMAS FEELS: /5

ROMANCE FEELS: /5

CHARACTERS: /5

HUMOUR: /5

ORIGINALITY: /5

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is written by one the most well known children's author; the man who created the world of Oz. L. Frank Baum is a household name, but I had never read any of his stories before. This book chronicles the life of Santa from his birth to the iconic figure we know today. How does one become Santa Claus? Is he human or some sort of God? L. Frank Baum is able to answer all those questions f
...more
Christopher Massikki
Jan 03, 2015 Christopher Massikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
woooow...setelah baca bukunya saya di bawa kembali ke masa di mana saya masih kanak kanak...sebagai umat kristiani,saya sudah di perkenalkan sama sosok Santa oleh kedua orang tua saya.Tapi sosok Santa itu siapa???selama ini yg saya tahu adalah sosok Santa dgn jubah merah dgn jenggot putih tanpa tahu bagaimana sosok itu muncul pada awal mulanya,sejarah mengenai dirinya,asal usulnya....Dari kecil saya selalu penasaran soal itu

Dalam buku ini semua itu di ceritakan dgn detail dan masuk akal..saya sa
...more
Robert Zimmermann
Dec 23, 2014 Robert Zimmermann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read the first few Oz books from Baum, and I’m enjoying that series. It’s fun and imaginative. That’s what I thought of this book as well, though only to a lesser extent. That’s not to say this book is worse than those of the Oz series, it’s just a different side of Baum’s writing.

The Santa Claus mythology we know today varies from culture to culture and generation to generation. While I’ve long outgrown the holiday traditions from my childhood, this book didn’t lack in a story to draw me i
...more
Katharine Ott
“The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” – written by L Frank Baum and first published in 1902. Did you ever wonder how Santa manages to deliver all his gifts in one night? This miracle is clearly explained here along with the origins of his reindeer, the Christmas tree, his use of chimneys, his name and other mysteries. It’s good to finally learn of his “Moses in the bulrushes” beginning and his loving upbringing by the wood-nymph Necile.

Baum wrote this book just a couple years after “Oz” and a
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jennifer
Dec 17, 2012 jennifer rated it liked it
This begins with the discovery of the human baby by nymph Necile, who asks for permission from the Master Woodsman, a ruler of immortals, to keep the mortal child for her own. Named Claus, the boy is raised by all the fairies and magical creatures until the day he realizes that he must go live among other humans. He discovers a talent for toy-making, an empathy for all children, a way to carry his toys across the world and how simple B&E is.

I didn't know Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, had
...more
Morgan
After reading all of the Oz books, it's nice to read Baum's other works as well. Not only for the fact they are imaginative for his time, but also you can clearly see he created a universe with most of his books. Yes, this book does connect ith his Oz books, because in a later Oz book he uses this Santa Claus.

The other thing I like about this book is this is Baum's version for the origin of Santa Claus. This is mostly pagan views of Santa and Christmas which is a little interesting knowing that
...more
Coral Davies
Dec 18, 2015 Coral Davies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
' "In all this world there is nothing as beautiful as a happy child" says good old Santa Claus; and if he had his way the children would all be beautiful, for all would be happy. '

A delightful tale of how an abandoned infant grew up to become the infamous Santa Claus, told by the ingenious Frank Baum, who birthed into this world the well loved Wizard of Oz books.

This version is particularly beautiful thanks to the inclusion of Mary Cowles Clark's original illustrations depicting nymphs, fairies
...more
Mark Wilkerson
Sep 16, 2012 Mark Wilkerson rated it liked it
I wish that my mom knew about this book when I was a wee little boy. This is a completely legitimate "origin-story" for Santa Claus, and all the questions I had about Santa Claus, like "Where did he come from?" or "How does he get into houses without chimneys?" or even "Why did he pick reindeer instead of horses?" are all explained in this story.

This is a fun little story to read to young children right in the lead-up to Christmas; the story is not too harrowing, yet not dull, and there are man
...more
Samantha Hopwood
Dec 28, 2012 Samantha Hopwood rated it did not like it
Holy Christ in heaven, if you're thinking "this looks cute. It's that guy who did the Wizard of Oz!" just give up. It's not worth it. I've spent at least ten hours of this fucking Christmas season trying to get through this monstrosity and, oh, the horror. If Bing Crosby in the background isn't enough to get me effing jolly as I read this, I don't know what will. Yes, I know, he wrote this for children. You know who else wrote for children? JK effing Rowling, that's who. So don't tell me I'm ...more
Richard Ward
Dec 23, 2014 Richard Ward rated it did not like it
I love the Wizard Of Oz, and I like some of L. Frank Baum's other books a lot, too. But he was a prolific writer who also wrote his fair share of stinkers. This story of how Santa Claus came to be just bored me to tears. Santa is not remotely interesting here, nor are any of the other characters, nor is the story. At least it's free for your Kindle (or whatever), since it's in the public domain. But even at that I felt ripped-off, somehow.
Renee Wallace
Oct 27, 2009 Renee Wallace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Parents need to understand, before they buy or borrow this book, that L. Frank Baum's works are not typical of today's fantasy reading, and this book is no exception. (I speak of those who are surprised that the WIZARD OF OZ books are not very much like the movie.)

Having said that, the illustrations in this book are gorgeous. It is a treat, and a delight, to thumb through the book and only look at the pictures. The story adds to the enjoyment, but to me, the main event here is the artwork.
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also wrote under the name Edith Van Dyne, Floyd Akers

Lyman Frank Baum was an American author, actor, and independent filmmaker best known as the creator, along with illustrator W. W. Denslow, of one of the most popular books in American children's literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, better known today as simply The Wizard of Oz. He wrote thirteen sequels, nine other fantasy novels, and a pleth
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“. . .It is the Law that while Evil, unopposed, may accomplish terrible deeds, the power of Good can never be overthrown when opposed to Evil. . .” 23 likes
“In all this world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child.” 11 likes
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