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Kris- The Legend Begins (Santa is Real Series) Kindle Edition
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The book is unlike any other Christmas story I have read about Santa because it's not really about the modern manifestation of Christmas in the form of Santas in department stores and consumerism, rather it goes beyond all that by creating a story and giving depth to this man we all tell our children about each year. By giving a narrative history of Santa from his childhood and throughout family tragedies that shaped Kris' life, the work Kris does as a carpenter (and ultimately a toy-maker), the book expands the disjointed myths of each form of Santa and unifies the history in a very inclusive way (no matter if you call him St. Nick, Santa, or Kris Kringle, his story fits in with this author's imaginative telling of Kris' life.
One of the more unique aspects includes the fact that as Kris ages, the story beautifully develops Santa's relationship with Kris' wife, ie., "Mrs Claus." And, I loved the development of Kris as a toy-maker, giving a really tangible way that the boy in the story could actually have become the Santa we know today.
At the end of the day, the author really excelled at blurring the line between factual events and history and fiction, myth and legend. After reading the book I couldn't separate out where facts and reality (he uses the Sami, a real people that exists in the arctic circle, as the "elves"), met with fancy and fantasy (could a boy like this have lived and grown into the legend?). It's a little uncanny that there is so much reality that it blurs the separation between reality and fantasy.
It's a really great story and an easy read, the words flow nicely and I finished it in two days. It's sad and sweet, adds in elements of tragedy, redemption and just enough hope and joy to make this book a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit. It's also written at a level so you can read it with your teens and tweens and share the experience with them as the holidays near.
This book has been a perfect gift to myself and I have told others to order it for a gift to themselves.
This would be such a great book to read with a child at the beginning of Advent and to talk about in small bites.