So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa

The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa by Ruth Plumly Thompson
Ruth Plumly Thompson was hired by the publisher Reilly & Lee when L. Frank Baum died to continue writing books in his Oz series. She ended up writing almost twice as many Oz books as Baum did. So it is quite natural for Thompson to also try her hand at writing a children's book about Santa Claus, seeing as how Baum had written several. Originally published in 1926, and using the same illustrator she and Baum used for the Oz series, John R. Neill, The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa is a delightful fantasy adventure.
Just after Christmas one year, Santa decides to build a ship and go sailing in search of new and interesting toys for him to give to children. He has heard of The Lost Islands and the rumors that they have living dolls, and he wants to find the islands and bring back some of these fabulous dolls for the children next Christmas. Accompanying him on the adventure is an orphan named Jim who has come to live at Santa's North Pole Palace, a talking polar bear named Huggerumbo, and Penny the Penguin, who looks after Santa. They set sail for the Lost Islands with a cargo of toys and treats to trade for new toys that they might discover along the way. After many amusing adventures, they return with a hold full of new toys and the hope to sail again another year.
While the book can be read on its own and enjoyed as a post-Christmas adventure yarn for children who wonder what Santa does the rest of the year, this is most likely to appeal to folks like me who are devoted readers of the Oz series.


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