Posts tagged ‘Christmas legends’

CHRISTMASES PAST AND PRESENT

How Santa Changed

Written by Karl Steam

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the title of this book but was immediately drawn in by the nostalgic illustrations. It turns out that the plot of the book revolves around the changes that took place from the time Santa was a young man to the present.

In the beginning, young Santa, a magical elf, made and delivered all the toys himself with the help of one moose. As cities sprang up and the population grew, Santa could not pull his heavier sleigh with one moose. As the story continues, the reader learns how Santa came to rely on a team of reindeer, how he moved farther north, and the need to have additional helpers. Mrs. Claus even learned to bake, and Santa’s slim shape evolved to the fat, jolly character of today. Recommended for children and adults as a read aloud or holiday bedtime story.

The illustrations in the book are beautifully done, even if the rhymes are sometimes a bit off.

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ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: MAKING A DIFFICULT JOURNEY

The Boy Who Became Father Christmas: The Story of Santa Claus

Written by James Wilmot

BoySanta,pic

The Prologue gives a hint as to how the story line will evolve. In this short story, the reader learns that Niklas was born at the foot of a mountain range. He lived in town with the wealthy and prosperous settlers. Once a year the mountain folk came down to trade with them Their meat, cheese, animal skins and wool were exchanged for the coal, wax, grain and oil the mountain people needed to survive.

Shortly after Niklas turned twelve, tragedy struck. Both his parents were killed in a house fire. Niklas discovers a grandfather he never knew existed; now Niklas’ life would be turned upside down. He must leave town and go live up in the mountain with his grandfather. After a rough period of adjustment, Niklas becomes skilled in woodworking and learns the ways of the mountain people. He becomes acquainted with the “wee folk” legends and the animals of the forest. The teen develops a strong friendship with a girl named Rose. Niklas discovers the joys of the Christmas season and ventures forth to embrace it. As the boy grows, he experiences love and loss while meeting the challenges of mountain living and surviving a test with the King of the Mountain.

Wilmot selects many of the Christmas legends and weaves them into a novella featuring characters that embody familiar traditions. A heartwarming and uplifting short story that can be enjoyed by middle grade, young adult and adult readers. Perfect read for sitting in front of the fire for a couple of hours.

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