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When Santa Was a Baby Hardcover – October 13, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 111 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1—From the time he was born, Santa is a bit of a special child. From a booming laugh as a baby to a marked preference for red and cold weather as a toddler to the habit of rewrapping and giving away his presents, his ways set him apart from other children. Still, his parents adore him and know that someday he'll become something amazing—maybe a fireman, with all that red? Given his lifestyle choices, his eventual career as Santa Claus is the perfect one, as far as his proud parents are concerned. Santa as a youngster is a strapping, blond, cheerful lad, while his doting parents are plump and smiley—in one scene, his mom wears a cheerful sundress and hat while his dad sports a polo shirt and sandals with white knee socks. VERDICT A fond, reassuring look at the eccentric childhood of a much-beloved holiday figure.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

Review

SELECTION - Today's Parent 52 Jolly Christmas Books for Kids

PRAISE FOR When Santa Was a Baby:


"He’s an unusual baby: a booming voice, an interest in chimneys, a penchant for standing naked in front of the open refrigerator, enjoying the chill. Later, on Christmas, he rewraps his gifts and gives them to other children. His puzzled but besotted parents shower him with praise and predictions of future greatness. With retro-esque art featuring people whose giant black eyes look ever so slightly crazed, it’s a sweet, gently satirical answer to the eternal question, How did Santa become Santa?" --New York Times Book Review

“Delightfully illustrated, this will become a family favorite.” --Yakima Herald-Republic

"Simple illustrations with white backgrounds use textured surfaces and blurred edges that provide a nostalgic feel of remembered childhood. . . . There have been several recent stories about Santa's origins, but this one is the shortest and simplest, accessible to the youngest of Santa's fans." --Kirkus Reviews

"[A] clever take on the Santa myth that develops him as a character with his own thoughts and motivations. . . . Godbout’s cozy artwork gives the book the feel of a classic while also offering some cheeky moments – as when a young Santa stands naked in front of an open fridge, trying to cool down." --Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

"A fond, reassuring look at the eccentric childhood of a much-beloved holiday figure." --School Library Journal

"Warm, textured pastel and colored-pencil illustrations on generous double-page spreads enrich this gentle, humorous, love-suffused tale." --Horn Book Magazine

"Warmth and softness abound, with each character sporting rosy round cheeks and button-black eyes. The art evokes a vintage style that further strengthens and supports the book’s nostalgic appeal. When Santa Was a Baby will make a wonderful addition to any holiday-book collection. Sure to spread joy to readers of all ages year after year, much like the jolly old man in red himself." --Quill & Quire

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
111 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Stephanie Farley
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet story beautifully illustrated
Reviewed in Canada on December 29, 2018
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Barnabus Horton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Reviewed in Germany on January 7, 2020
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DG
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute story
Reviewed in Germany on January 10, 2020
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Christine MacLeod
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story lovely art.
Reviewed in Canada on January 1, 2020
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Koon Zo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on January 18, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on January 16, 2016
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