L. Frank Baum’s Book of Santa Claus: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Curiously, I’d never read L. Frank Baum before. Most are familiar with the name as the author of The Wizard Of Oz, and after watching the movie growing up, I was so annoyed with the cowardly lion that I had no urge to read the book.

In the last Jack Of Fables graphic novel, there was mention of the original, unrevised L. Frank Baum series that the film was based on. In the original tale, the lion was not cowardly; he was fierce and impulsive, looking for restraint. That, to me, is a much more important lesson to learn than the cowardly/courage bit.

I digress. ’tis the season of my goofy, innocent, beloved old Rankin-Bass stop-motion animated Christmas specials. There’s one they no longer air, no doubt because it exuded aspects of Paganism in a positive light.

Naturally this was my favorite of the slew of specials. It featured the Great Ak, Master Woodsman Of the World, who wore his beard long and white and brandished a rack of antlers upon his brow. He resided over the forest of Burzee, where nymphs, fairies, gnomes, and other immortals dwelt. I won’t give away anything else, save for one of my favorite points: The young Claus was nursed by the lioness Shiegra.

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