Written and Illustrated by: Russell Ince
Publisher: Waxcrayon Ltd
Publication Date: January 2014
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: June 14, 2014
Is Santa Claus real? Of course he is! Sometimes, however, in today’s high-tech, super-busy world, it’s hard to believe in Santa. Then there are the questions, so many questions! How, we wonder, could Santa possibly visit all the homes in the world in one night? How do reindeer fly? Does Santa really make all those toys? Fortunately, in Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets, we’re given answers to those questions plus so much more.
For Christmas, 2012, author Russell Ince received a very special gift. On the mantelpiece above the fire was a letter … a letter from Santa Claus! Because Russell LOVED Christmas so much and did all he could to keep the spirit of the holiday alive all year, Santa chose him to learn the secrets of Santa Claus, his life, and how everything works at the North Pole. The best part? Russell has decided to share all those secrets with us!
The author begins his special book of secrets by explaining who Santa Claus really is and how he came to be the jolly red-suited man we all know. Nichlaus began his life as a simple toymaker, with the ability to make just about anything out of wood, toys being his favorite. At first he made toys for the wealthy children of his village, but soon he was making toys for every child, rich or poor. Nichlaus drew the attention of magical elves who lived deep in the woods, away from humans. The elves chose Nichlaus to bring gifts to children, not just of his village, but to the entire world! This they knew would help spread peace, love and joy; something the world truly needed. In exchange, Nichlaus and his wife would be given the same, very long lives that the elves enjoyed.
From here, Santa shares many secrets – how the post office works, who his helpers are, how the naughty and nice list is created, how he slips into houses, to name just a few. Everything a child might ask about Santa Claus is explained in this book and children will, no doubt, delight in the explanations. It is obvious that this book is a true labor of love as the illustrations, that are absolutely stunning, are meticulous in detail and no doubt took a very long time to create. There is a fair amount of text and the font used is rather small so younger children (up to ~ age 7) will need help. Perhaps one chapter (they range from one to two pages each) a night leading up to Christmas, with the whole family participating, will help build excitement. The stories are fun and magical, sure to capture the attention of those who believe in Santa as well as those who might be starting to doubt his existence.
Quill says: Destined to become a family tradition at Christmas, Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets needs to be on your Christmas list. Start the tradition this year!