Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Pen to Paper. Post about one book per week that has been on your wishlist for some time, or just added (it’s entirely up to you), that you can’t wait to get off the wishlist and onto our shelves.
This week on my wishlist: the Penguin Christmas Classics edition of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum.
L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus was first published in 1902, two years after his Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Drawing on the attributes of Santa Claus from Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (“The Night Before Christmas”), 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 his fellow man. Along the way we witness him making his first toys, learn the origins of the Christmas tree and Christmas stockings, and discover the stories behind many Christmas secrets, like why Santa slides down chimneys, how he picks his reindeer, and how he delivers all his toys in one night. Later adapted into multiple animated films, and published here with the original illustrations from the first edition, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus evinces the charm, warmth, and fantasy that made L. Frank Baum’s Oz stories American classics.
Recently, there’s been a number of posts about Iceland’s Annual ‘Christmas Book Flood‘ – presents are given on Christmas Eve, and people spend their night reading. Ever since reading about the tradition two years ago, I’ve tried to make my own spin on it, by reading a Christmas-themed book on Christmas Eve.
I adore Penguin’s Christmas Classics series – I already own the other five in the series. I’m a sucker for beautiful book design, and these books are gorgeous – foil-stamped jackets, decorative end papers and (something that takes me back to the books I owned as a child) a little name plate on the inside. My favourite thing about this series is that they’re a collection of Christmas stories from around the world, taking stories from British, American, and Russian authors; Christmas classics about the time-honoured traditions of Christmas. L. Frank Baum wrote a modern-day classic like nobody else, and I would love to add his take on Santa Claus to my collection.