I love children’s books and When Santa was a baby is one of the most endearing books I’ve read. Beautifully written by Linda Bailey and charmingly illustrated by Genevieve Godbout, this is the story of how Santa became Santa.
Thank you, NetGalley for the ARC.
Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tundra Books (October 13, 2015)
When Santa was a baby – Book Blurb
Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, loves to stand in front of the refrigerator, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbox sleigh … and has an unusual interest in chimneys. The adorably funny portrait of an oddball kid who fulfills his destiny – and two very proud parents.
Of course, Santa’s parents adore him from the moment he’s born. They are in awe of everything he does. As soon as he’s born, they expect him to coo and gurgle and are surprised when he lets out an “HO, HO” in a booming voice. They’re thrilled he has a strong voice and think he’s very special.
Santa grows up, and when he learns his colors, it turns out his favorite is red. His Aunt Mabel gifts him a pair of blue pajamas but he insists on red. His parents wonder whether he’ll be a firefighter.
On his next birthday, they get him a firetruck. Santa enjoys opening all his presents. But he’s even happier wrapping them all up again, and when he puts them in a sack, his parents wonder what he’s up to. They’re amazed as he rides down the street and gives away all his gifts and feel proud that he’s so generous.
His next birthday arrives and he asks for a horse. Wait, not exactly a horse, but a horse-like horse with horns and the ability to pull a flying sled.
They wonder if he means a unicorn and since they don’t know where to get one, they gift him a hamster. When the hamster has babies, Santa names them, harnesses them to a matchbox and trains them to pull it around the house. Of course, his parents think he’s such a creative child.
They also thought he was unusual since he never enjoyed the warm weather and preferred to stand in front of the fridge with the door open. They’re cool with that because all they want is for their little one to be happy. They also found he had an odd interest in chimneys. They thought, he’s so curious—maybe he’ll become a scientist?
Santa grew older. As a teenager, he knew his own mind and didn’t care that he didn’t fit in with the crowd. His parents thought he was wonderful.
As we all know, Santa followed his childhood passion, with his parents’ encouragement. He moved to the North Pole where he built a toy factory. Once a year, he travels the world, climbing down chimneys to leave gifts for boys and girls. Naturally, his parents are super-proud of him. On Christmas Eve, they eagerly wait for the sound of his sleigh bells.
What I loved
- These parents are such a great example of positive parenting—I loved how they believed that he would be amazing when he grew up and indulged him at every step.
- The book describes Santa as unusual, generous, and as someone who is quite focused on what he likes and wants. There is a lesson there for everyone, right?
- The illustrations are most charming with that vintage look that took me right back to my childhood, cozying up in a window seat with a large hardcover book—dreams in my head and imagination running wild.
- The narrative is sweetly humorous. And the kids will get it, going by the guffaws my audience let out throughout the book.
- In fact, every child I’ve read this book to has enjoyed it tremendously. Of course, I embellished a little by adding extra scenes. Naturally.
- I think it is a great children’s book—both as a gift and for your own bookshelf. If you have kids visiting you frequently, this book is right up there with all the traditional fairy tales, and promises to be fun!