When Santa Was a Baby
One of my favorite Christmas books
I love spending time with children. I love and enjoy children’s books, because, ya know, they always expect stories. Moreover, children’s books are a quick and cheerful pick-me-up. They are always positive, filled with smiles and great messages. And I am still a sucker for picture books.
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. Perfect for ages 3–7, and I think, for adults too — especially parents!
Now picture a bunch of kids listening to this story!
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.
From the moment he’s born, Santa’s parents adore him. 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. Intrigued, his parents wonder — Will he 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 putting them in a big sack. When his parents see this, they 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. This time 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 — Oh! such a creative child!
They also think he is unusual since he never enjoys the warm weather and prefers 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 find he has an odd interest in chimneys. They think he’s so curious — maybe he’ll become a scientist?
Santa grows older. As a teenager, he knows his own mind and doesn’t care about fitting in with the crowd. His parents think he is 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.
When Santa Was A Baby — What I loved
- Santa’s parents are such a great example of positive parenting — I love how they believe that he will be amazing when he grows up and indulge 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 own 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. But, 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!
Available on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
I love what Sujona Chatterjee did with the same prompt in her post — she says the book knocked her on her head and describes how she learned that where she is the best place to be.