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My 6 year old granddaughter picked this off my TBR shelf for me to read. It is by the author of The Wizard of Oz. It was different than I expected.
Basically the story follows the life of Claus, a baby adopted by fairies. (The story starts in fairy land and much of it involves the fairies and woodland spirits. If you are expecting traditional Christmas lore you will get that but not quite yet.) The fairies are immortal, but Claus will grow up and age. When he has grown to be a teenager the fairies set him up in a cottage in the woods. Apparently they are bringing him food and necessities, so his only job is to discover his purpose in life. He begins to make toys for children to cheer them up, and the story goes from there.
The entire host of fairies gets involved in toy production. Instead of making toys like the merry elves, they bring colors from flowers and other magical properties that Claus can include in his toys. This reads like a fairy tale and grdually Baum brings in elements from the Santa mythology. The transition from fairies and magic to Santa is what I liked most in the book.
I recently reread this book and liked it except for the whole toys making kids happy thing. Its not that I dislike kids or toys. Here Claus (obviously the future Santa Claus) makes toys for children and the toys are the panacea that makes their world perfect. With a small carved toy dog all of a sudden they are kind to siblings, respect their parents and are bursting with joy. If he passed out lifetime supplies of cocain and valium he couldn't make them happier. If I were to find that Baum had been commissioned by a department store to write this book as a special advertising section for holiday spending then that would explain alot. The huge emphasis on more toys=happy makes the book a little sick.
Overall this is a nifty twist on the Santa Claus myth. It reads well even in the summertime. The only drawback is the huge focus on happiness through toys. The only moral that I could extract from the story is that children NEED toys to be happy and this is soooo important that the entire world of fairy restructures itself around toys.
Released 6 yrs ago (12/26/2010 UTC) at Ward Entertainment Center (Theaters) in Honolulu, Hawaii USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Left outside the theaters for nancynova's Christmas/December Holiday Release Challenge and DragonGoddess's What's In A Name challenge. Merry Christmas!
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