4 out of 4 stars
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How I Became Santa Clause is a holiday-themed children’s book by Chris Kringle. In this fictional story, kids learn about the legend of Santa through a creative dramatization of several real-world events and historical facts. It is narrated through the author’s unique point of view as THE self-professed, one-and-only Santa Clause.
Born on January 1, 1900, Christopher Clause Kringle had humble beginnings in New York City. As he recounts his earliest years, he mentions meeting several historical figures. Henry Ford, Babe Ruth, Milton Hershey, and President Roosevelt all left positive impressions on the young boy and shaped who he was to eventually become.
He had a best friend named Wally, who became his adopted brother, and at eight years of age, Kringle started leaving presents for his loved ones under the family Christmas tree. As the years went on, the Kringle Brothers began secretly delivering presents far and wide, and they even repaired and assembled toys in their home garage. One winter, during a trip to the North Pole, Kringle met a group of Elves in the subterranean tunnels beneath the Village of Elf, and it was there that he was given the holy name of Santa (to combine with his given middle name of Clause). Santa’s Workshop eventually came into being, and some local reindeer were recruited to help spread his messages of peace and joy far and wide.
I enjoyed coming across pictures and mentions of vintage toys and keepsakes, as marbles, jacks, and hopscotch games blended seamlessly with sewing, sledding, and cows being milked. I encountered recurring themes of acceptance, unity, and inclusion, and I loved how the author stressed the importance of education, friendships, and earning trust, even in the face of economic struggle and poverty.
The glossy pages featured a well-balanced mix of informational text, snowflake designs, colored illustrations, and antique photographs, and I genuinely found myself chuckling at several comedic pictures and runs of witty wording throughout. While I did come across a few grammatical and typographical errors throughout the span of seventy-two pages, they did not impact my overall enjoyment of the story, and there was nothing I disliked about the book or its chosen layout.
I feel this book would be appropriate for children over the age of five, especially ones who are readily fascinated by Christmastime, magical personalities, reindeer, and origin stories. This one should appeal to readers of any religious belief or denomination, and kids will encounter mentions of baseball trivia and many famous geographical landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, and Machu Picchu. I gladly award How I Became Santa Clause a rating of 4 out of 4 stars and hope that it will become a quirky holiday classic that remains perched on bookshelves for years to come!
How I Became Santa Clause
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