I stumbled upon this book a couple years ago at a rummage sale. Intrigued by the author, I snapped it up and decided to read it to see if it was appropriate for sharing with the littles. I don’t pre-read their books terribly often (maybe I should?) but if you’ve read The Wizard of Oz it’s a bit, shall we say, dark in some places. I wasn’t sure I trusted Mr. Baum to be as pacifistic about the story of Santa Claus as I wanted him to be.
It proved to be a lovely story. The vocabulary is a bit steep at times so when reading aloud I’m often editing while I go. I love that it’s nature based and there are nymphs and fairies – what could be better? I read it 3 or 4 years ago to Pip, then it somehow got misplaced the last couple years. I borrowed it from the library and tried to share it with them last year, but honestly I think Hopper was a bit too young. Even this year she’s restless while I’m reading it. Pip is also restless, but I can tell he’s paying attention. Interestingly, Pip doesn’t remember much of the story from when I read it to him before (when he was about Hopper’s age), so I don’t really expect her to grasp much of it this year.
Regardless, it’s a completely lovely story of how Santa Claus came to be and I plan to make reading it aloud one of our holiday traditions. We de-emphasize Santa around here (another post for another day), but I like stories like this that highlight the importance of generosity, giving and caring for others which are the cornerstones of the holiday and well, humanity as a while. If we as a culture were more interested in what we could offer others, we would be far less obsessed with material possessions and the ‘getting’ that seems to blanket children’s brains (thank you main stream media).
If you come across a copy (there are several online free versions for reading online or downloading to your e-reader) it’s a lovely read, even just for you if your littles aren’t quite big enough yet. If you can get a paper copy there are some intermittent line drawn illustrations that are a pleasant addition to the story.