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The Real Santa Claus: Legends of Saint Nicholas (Phyllis Fogelman Books) [Hardcover]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Long before "A Visit from St. Nicholas" was written, stories of the beloved saint's extraordinary generosity and countless acts of kindness were legendary. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars A CHRISTMAS BOOK TO ENJOY FROM YEAR TO YEAR Oct. 16 2001
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Opening with the traditional version of the beloved poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" renowned children's book author Marianna Mayer seques into the life of St. Nicholas, the saint whose legendary generosity was the genesis for Santa Claus.
St. Nicholas, who lived during the fourth century in the area that is now known as Turkey, was the child of practicing Christians who died when Nicholas was but a boy. Fortunately, they were people of wealth so the child was left with a handsome inheritance which it is said he used to help others.
According to stories that have grown up around the saint when he was still a boy he overheard villagers in the marketplace discussing a family that was destitute, so impoverished that three daughters were to be sold into slavery.
That night young Nicholas stealthily approached the family's home and threw a bag of gold in through an open window. So astounded was the man to find this amazing gift that he sat by the window each night hoping to see his benefactor.
When he did catch Nicholas leaving another bag of gold the man wanted to know how he could repay him. The boy only asked that the man never tell who had helped him.
Later, as an adult, Nicholas was elected Bishop of Myra and continued his selfless generosity which won him legions of followers.
Illustrating her story with reproductions of paintings by some of the world's greatest artists, including Tintoretto and Fra Angelico, Ms. Mayer has created a keepsake Christmas book that families will enjoy season after season.
- Gail Cooke
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CHRISTMAS BOOK TO ENJOY FROM YEAR TO YEAR Oct. 16 2001
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Opening with the traditional version of the beloved poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" renowned children's book author Marianna Mayer seques into the life of St. Nicholas, the saint whose legendary generosity was the genesis for Santa Claus.
St. Nicholas, who lived during the fourth century in the area that is now known as Turkey, was the child of practicing Christians who died when Nicholas was but a boy. Fortunately, they were people of wealth so the child was left with a handsome inheritance which it is said he used to help others.
According to stories that have grown up around the saint when he was still a boy he overheard villagers in the marketplace discussing a family that was destitute, so impoverished that three daughters were to be sold into slavery.
That night young Nicholas stealthily approached the family's home and threw a bag of gold in through an open window. So astounded was the man to find this amazing gift that he sat by the window each night hoping to see his benefactor.
When he did catch Nicholas leaving another bag of gold the man wanted to know how he could repay him. The boy only asked that the man never tell who had helped him.
Later, as an adult, Nicholas was elected Bishop of Myra and continued his selfless generosity which won him legions of followers.
Illustrating her story with reproductions of paintings by some of the world's greatest artists, including Tintoretto and Fra Angelico, Ms. Mayer has created a keepsake Christmas book that families will enjoy season after season.
- Gail Cooke
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not a good choice for young readers Jan. 14 2007
By P. C. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The following text made me rethink my plans to give this book to my third-grade nephew: "A few years after Nicholas was ordained bishop, a man who kept an inn on the outskirts of the city murdered three youths and then hid them in a tub of brine...". Not exactly bedtime story material. So, I'll set it aside to give to him when he is a bit older. In the mean time, I did give him Paul Prokop's book The True Story of Santa Claus which I think is more appropriate for a younger audience.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Spirit of Christmas May 15 2006
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
How I wish I'd had this book when I was a child. That certainly would have cleared the Santa question up for me in good order.

What is so wonderful about this book is that it is a biography of St. Nicholas, the bishop who was later canonized as the Patron Saint of Children. Santa Claus is a variation of the name Saint Nicholas. In Dutch, St. Nicholas is translated as Sinterklaas.

It is a beautifully illustrated work that shows how the tradition of Santa Claus caught on and is a book families are sure to enjoy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful March 10 2006
By Joan C. Redwine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A wonderful family keepsake. Well written and well presented in a beautifully artistic work. Something to read to children. An answer to a life long question. Is Santa Claus real? Or Saint Nicholas? Wonderful!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for children who believe in Santa Nov. 20 2010
By Bookfriend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I gave this book to my 9 year old daughter before I had a chance to read it. I usually look through books pretty thoroughly first, but it didn't occur to me that the author would mention several times that Santa Claus was a fiction. Fortunately, she makes the case that Saint Nicholas was very real. We've been telling our daughter for some time now that God gives special graces to Saints, and that helps to explain the Santa/Saint Nicholas story regarding the gifts that appear on Christmas. Just be forewarned if you'd like to give this book to a young child.
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