Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” as Want to Read:
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,680 ratings  ·  781 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 im ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 17th 1999 by Gramercy (first published April 12th 1902)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,680 ratings  ·  781 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Holy crap on a Christmas Cookie! I wanted to do Christmas in July. So I'm going to read 4 of these books that are short and have beautiful covers. I will add my little Christmas thing another time as I'm not getting on the computer as much as I told you all 🎅

Oh My Goodness! What a sweet little book! I loved that Santa was adopted by immortals and the story of how he became Santa. I like this story best as his origin story. The fantastical imagery in the mind of all the creatures. Such joy 😊

Susan Budd
We will not Banish Magic from the World, not while Jolly Old Saint Nicholas keeps the Spirit of Christmas Alive in our Hearts!

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1902) by L. Frank Baum is the classic biography of the legendary man in the red suit ~ Santa Claus.

Child of the Forest

As with most biographies, I enjoyed the chapters on his childhood the best. Santa’s story begins in an enchanted forest inhabited by fairies, knooks, ryls, and nymphs ~ immortal and changeless beings who have peopl
Oct 29, 2014 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
mark monday
Dec 29, 2015 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 foundlin ...more
Although I included this book on my children's shelf, it is actually written, I think, to be read aloud to children as the language would be a bit too difficult for a child to read.

This is a stunning work by the mind that also gave us Oz. This is not the usual story about Santa Claus, the North Pole, the Elves, etc. Instead, we are given a fantastical story with magical creatures that take us to when the infant Claus was found abandoned in the woods and taken in by the forest dwellers.

This parti
L. Frank Baum's take on Santa Claus is totally different from the typical stories I grew up knowing about Santa Claus. Interesting story set in a completely different environment than the North Pole. Staged in the forest with interesting characters who all have their own magical/mystical powers.

While I did enjoy the book, I felt that L. Frank Baum needed to touch on all aspects of Santa Claus's life and everything related to Christmas in general. The chapters on "Youth" were very enjoyable and m
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.
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two years after the author's most famous work, Frank L. Baum published this chronicle of Santa Claus (actually named Nickclaus).

We readers thus learn of his childhood in a magic forest where he was raised by nymphs and other immortal folk, before we follow him as an adult man until he becomes the immortal symbol of joy that we all know nowadays.
In between, there are encounters with sprites such as Jack Frost and the making of the first toy and all of it was wonderful!

One can see, while reading t
Deacon Tom F
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An Awesome Read!

Who doesn't love Santa? I sure do!

In this Classic Book, L. Frank Baum has fun explaining the backstory of Santa Claus to generations of children

I loved how Baum expands on traditional Santa stories. In particular, Mr. Claus is adopted by the wood nymphs and has a deep love for the forest and it's creatures. Later, he shows how Claus' toys were his main focus so as to bring happiness to children.

Nothing seems to be missed, his first name's origin, his sleigh and reindeer, the f
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Perfect read for this time of year. Written beautifully and great for reading out loud to children.

"With a ho, ho, ho!
And a ha, ha, ha!
And a ho, ho, ha, ha, hee!
Now away we go
O'er the frozen snow,
As merry as we can be!

There are many joys
In our load of toys,
As many a child will know;
We'll scatter them wide
On our wild night ride
O'er the crisp and sparkling snow!"

So glad to have finally read it...
Jul 18, 2013 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.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I finished and enjoyed this story quite a bit. It's sweet and a wonderful story to read to kids in December. It's warm, touching, brings the love & joy of Santa into the mind. It's told as a history, that each child would be able to envision being true.
True, a few details are changed but, in essence, this is the story of Santa Claus and one to delight young (and old) hearts.
Baum wrote this Fairy Tale two years after Oz, 1902.

A beautiful tale of Claus and how he grew up in the forest of Oz to became Santa Claus. Different parts of the story are quite delightful Necile, the whittling of the first toy cat to using clay to make dolls all gifts that he loved giving to children in need.

Did not care for the dark Awgwas, jealous beings.

The meaning behind all things Christmas, Stockings, Tree and Christmas eve. I loved Flossie and Glossie in helping Claus use the fireplac
Kaytee Cobb
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, this was just a delightful little gem (although I'd say it's a tiny bit slow to start). I love the way Baum explains every part of Santa's magic. ❤❤❤ ...more
The Lit Bitch
Dec 08, 2015 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
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,
Dec 20, 2008 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
Sep 30, 2014 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 books ...more
Tisha (IG: Bluestocking629)
Simply amazing! I cannot recommend it enough.

I can't believe this is only the second book I have read by L Frank Baum. (The first was the Wizard of Oz). I should set myself a goal to perhaps read everyone of his books before I turn 50. I better read quickly.

So this book "almost" read like a biography of Santa Claus. I will leave it at that just in case any five-year-olds read my reviews. Wink wink.

It is such a fantastical beautiful story that includes all different types of immortals such as woo
Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺
A whimsical tale on the origins of Santa Claus. Unlike Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, L. Frank Baum’s imaginings have not made it into the Christmas canon. I think his overwhelming success with Oz more than makes up for it though!
A fun biography of Santa Claus from his abandonment as a babe at the edge of a woods where he is nurtured by various fay folk. He makes it his life's mission to make children happy even to inventing toys & then to distributing them to kids around the world, no matter who they are or how inattentive their parents might be. He has some troubles, but always the good powers of the world help him out. The people turn him into a saint & the fay make him immortal, one of them. The deer aren't named the ...more
Peter McQueeny
Jul 18, 2015 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
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I adore Baum's books and glorious imagination so it was no surprise that I also thoroughly enjoyed The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. With this story Baum covers and explains nearly all of the myths and legends surrounding "Santa Claus," from his red suit, to flying reindeer, his name, his home and even his immortality. It is fantastical in origin and immortal in spirit, a treasure for all ages to read over and over again every holiday season. ...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.
”’In all this world there is nothing more 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.’”

3.5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: For any parents who are panicking because their wee little munchkins are starting to raise questions, L. Frank Baum did you a great service.

There’s An App for This and An Answer for That: The plot of the book is relatively simple to figure out because it’s exactly
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
 Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Schu
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.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Enjoy Christmas Fantasy
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 ...more
Nostalgia Reader
3.5 stars

2020: Not quite as treacly as I recall, but still very sweet and reassuring, especially for the time period this was written in/for. I also love how Claus and Buddy the Elf have almost the same origin story :D

Rant about (by my reading, at least) annoying capitalist undertones throughout the book in this here spoiler tag! (view spoiler)
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Checkup
  • A Merry Christmas and Other Christmas Stories
  • It's a Wonderful Wife
  • The Night Before Christmas
  • Christmas at Thompson Hall and Other Christmas Stories
  • Nutcracker
  • Snow Day
  • Eight Winter Nights
  • Letters from Father Christmas
  • The Chimes
  • Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist
  • Home Shopped Holiday
  • The Christmas Angel
  • The Christmas Doll
  • A Cowboy For Christmas (Copper Mountain Christmas #1, The Scott Brothers of Montana #1)
  • The Snowflake Inn
  • The Weirdies
  • 12 часа преди Коледа
See similar books…
See top shelves…
also wrote under the name Edith Van Dyne, Floyd Akers, Schuyler Staunton, John Estes Cooke, Suzanne Metcalf, Laura Bancroft, Louis F. Baum, Capt. Hugh Fitzgerald

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, bett

News & Interviews

  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
45 likes · 12 comments
“. . .It is the Law that while Evil, unopposed, may accomplish terrible deeds, the power of Good can never be overthrown when opposed to Evil. . .” 24 likes
“In all this world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child.” 16 likes
More quotes…