For parents who have ever been asked who Santa Claus really is, William Bennett provides an excellent resource. Bennett recounts the life of St. Nicholas in what is now the country of Turkey. He weaves together historical facts, cultural background and various legends about this beloved saint. Bennett also explains the origins of many St. Nicholas traditions such as the hanging of stockings by the fireplace, the healing St. Nicholas oil, the devotion of sailors to this famous bishop and Clement Moore’s famous poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Over time, the image of St. Nicholas has evolved differently around the world. Bennett proposes the reasons simply, but convincingly. His book could easily be read to young children, depending on what they believe about this saint and his legacy.
Jennifer Minicus is a former teacher currently living in Ridgewood, NJ.