**This is a Sponsored/Compensated post written by me. All opinions are my own.
The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane
Have you ever wondered what Santa Claus was like as a child or how he came to be?
This year a new generation will get to experience the treasure of a lost Christmas classic called The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane (Grafton & Scratch Publishers – November 2017).
Written nearly a century ago by Sarah Addington, this delightful book takes readers through the journey of Santa Clause from childhood to the jolly, gift-bearing man we all imagine.
The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane, which lost its presence and disappeared with time after its initial publication in 1922, has been re-released by Pamela McColl’s Grafton and Scratch Publishers with classic images that have been beautifully restored.
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Book Details & Specs:
Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Grade Level: 1 – 2
Hardcover: 104 pages
Publisher: Grafton And Scratch Publishers (September 12, 2017)
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
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Tell me about some of your favorite Holiday books or stories?
A children’s advocate and publisher, Pamela McColl’s Grafton & Scratch Publishers released a smoke-free version of the classic ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas five years ago, creating a media storm that yielded attention from Jon Stewart and the American Library Association, as well as coverage on The View, The Colbert Show, The Today Show, and Live with Kelly and Michael. It also was featured in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Vanity Fair, National Review, and The New York Post.
McColl, is relaunching another family-friendly, holiday-themed children’s classic this year, The Boy Who Lived In Pudding Lane.
She is the publisher of nine books, including Pacific Spirit: The Forest Reborn, which United States Senator Frank Murkowski, the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, labeled as “one of the most important works on forest management” in recent years.
The Canadian has been featured in major media in her country, including Maclean’s magazine, CBC Radio, and National Canada AM-TV. Earlier in her career she was featured in or interviewed by: The National Post, Huffington Post CA, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, CTV – National News (TV), Global National News (TV), and CTV – BC AM News (TV). This spring she was featured in Newsweek for her activism in the anti-legalization of marijuana movement. She’s been an anti-smoking advocate for many years.
Her diverse career includes previous experience in publishing, as a health care worker with Canadian Mental Health. Her early career was spent in the field of costume design and she attended the National Theatre School in Montreal and worked at the Stratford Festival in Ontario and the CBC. She earned a BA in History/Sociology and did postgraduate work in Theatre History at the University of Victoria. She returned to study in the faculty of Women’s Studies at the Univ. of British Columbia and holds certification in Peer Counseling. She received certification in Brief Tobacco Intervention for Maternity through the University of Arizona. McColl, age 59, has twin daughters and resides in Vancouver, Canada.
She is a member of The Ewomens Network and Grafton and Scratch Publishing is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association of America. For more information, please consult: www.graftonandscratch.com.
The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane
⦁ Pamela, what inspired you to bring back the classic children’s book, The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane? I discovered this lost treasure in 2016 as I was researching folklore around the story of Santa Claus. The charming story, written by Sarah Addington, includes threads that run through other stories that account on the life and ways of Santa, and his family. The legends and lore of the early life of Santa Claus is well over a hundred years old and includes the writings of such notables as Helen Keller and Mark Twain. There are various stories that give Santa’s parents different names and different siblings and Addington added to this body of folklore by including characters from other well-known fairy tales. The story augments the literary history on how Santa became the famed giver of gifts. The final chapter of the book is my favorite, for it reveals a touching love between Mrs. Claus and dear Santa. The consternation the new Mrs. Claus experiences as she waits for her new husband’s return on his first Christmas flight is endearing.
⦁ This story was originally published back in 1921, in Ladies’ Home Journal magazine and then as a book in 1922. What happened afterwards and why did it eventually fall out of print? Sarah Addington went on to write a series of children’s books, some of which were very popular at the time. Tragically, both she and the illustrator died premature deaths, both within a year of one another. How this wonderful book, with such lovely illustrations, fell out of sight is somewhat of a mystery. I have heard from readers who have original editions of both the magazine from 1921 as well as the hardcover, and they have enjoyed sharing the story with generations and has become a tradition in homes across America. It is certainly not as well known as ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas but it could well see a revival of interest and could become a new holiday tradition for many readers across all age groups. I think the book has a classic quality that transcends time. Some of the language is old school but I think that adds to the charm.
⦁ Five years ago you released another holiday classic, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, but with some editorial changes. You removed images and references to Santa’s pipe, putting forth a smoke-free offering. What kinds of reaction did you get to that? Five years since the release of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas edited by Santa Claus for the benefit of children of the 21st. century, contains the edits that are now more welcome than when it was first introduced. The edits, when they first appeared, caused an international storm as the harshest critics lashed out that it was censorship and some even went so far as to call it “literary vandalism.” It was an edit of a work in the public domain. The Department of Health in the UK in 2011 conducted a survey of children whose parents smoked tobacco. The overwhelming majority of the kids expressed their desire that no one in the world smoked. Some children write letters to Santa at Christmas asking for his help in getting their parents to quit smoking. The edited version is for these children and all children who not only want but deserve a smoke-free Santa. One memorable event for me took place at a book signing at the Troy, NY Public Library, when a potential customer picked up a copy of my hardcover edition and proceeded to hit me over the head with it while denouncing me as a heretic. The police had to be called as the “assault” happened in a public library.
⦁ You seem to enjoy putting forth classic family fare with a holiday theme. What message do you want to convey to people? The reason that ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas has survived for nearly two centuries and remains arguably the most well-known poem in the English language is because at its core is a message of benevolence. There is no “naughty” or “nice” in ‘Twas. It is a magical story that every child can step into. I love Christmas and as it is the giving season. Santa Claus remains the most influential character of all time and it is this giving aspect of The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane that endeared me to the story. The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane tells the story of a very caring and kind little boy dressed all in red. It tells the story of how he was granted his wish to always make toys for children around the world. The wonder of ‘Twas and magic of The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane are perfect for not only children but adults who love Christmas – and encouraging the joy of giving.
⦁ The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane tells the story of how Santa Claus came to be. So how did he start his annual habit of bringing gifts to children across the world? Santa Claus as a young boy decided to make toys for his young siblings and he was well known in his village for giving away his father’s treats to all of his friends. So generous was Santa that his father was worried on many a day that there would not be enough sweets left in this bake shop to sell in order to feed his family. Mother Goose, who is Santa’s grandmother, decides to take the dilemma to King Cole, the merry old soul. King Cole and Mother Goose come up with a brilliant plan that finds Santa, newly married to the candle-stick maker’s niece, off to the North Pole to a castle provided by the King. It is there Santa is able to set up a workshop and set off each Christmas Eve with the present of toys for children all over the world.
⦁ What was his childhood like? Santa grew up well liked by his family and all the villagers. He was very well loved after he saved the children from the wicked Pied Piper of Hamelin. One aspect of the story that is particularly endearing is the fact that he was always dressed in a red suit, and that he was always a bit on the chubby side, as he loved eating his father’s sweets, for his father was the best baker in the region and ran a bakeshop with the help of his wife.
⦁ How did he get so fat? Addington writes that dear Santa was always fat, but grew somewhat fatter as the years went by. As the family prepared for Santa’s journey to the North Pole they made sure to provide red outfits in various sizes as they anticipated he would not give up his love for sweets and would grow increasingly larger. I like this aspect of the story, for not everyone grows up to be skinny. I think that many people who were the child of the “best baker” in the country as dear Santa was, it would be hard to not grow rather large around the middle.
⦁ How did he meet his wife, Mrs. Claus? When it was decided that Santa would leave his family and friends in Pudding Lane a problem arose. Would Santa be lonely if he set off without first meeting and falling in love with someone who would be willing to share his new life? Indeed Santa in The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane does fall in love and the marriage is a joyous occasion and the special cake is supplied by Mother Goose. The story of Pudding Lane is a story of community, or villagers helping one another and it is especially entertaining the way that Sarah Addington weaves the popular fairy tale characters into the life of the village. From Mother Goose, to Jack the Spratt, to the Candle-stick Maker – many have a role to play in the courtship of Santa and Mrs. Claus.
⦁ What kind of person was Santa growing up? Santa was the eldest of the Claus children and very, very kind to each of them. He was also much loved by his parents and his grandmother, Mother Goose. Santa loved to make toys and one Christmas he built his brothers a very special present but he decided to hide it on the roof and then brought it down the chimney to everyone’s surprise.
⦁ When did Santa get started in the enchanting pastime of toy-making and gift-giving? Santa was from the beginning a very generous and caring child. He loved to share what he had and give gifts to others. The family was perplexed when Santa rejected the idea of making toys to sell. Poor Santa just could not imagine selling toys when he much preferred to give them away free of charge. A solution had to be found that would satisfy Santa and also find him the means to live his adult life. Luckily for all, Mother Goose and King Cole found a solution.
⦁ You published the original illustrations of Gertrude A. Kay, “restoring and enlivening them.” So what changes did you make? The original cover of the available copies I was able to secure were in very rough shape and we decided to create a new cover and back cover. The color illustrations that appeared in The Ladies’ Home Journal in 1921 were also more colorful from digital images than the print copies we were able to secure so we tried and I think achieved a close rendition of the illustrator’s intentions. The inside endpapers are perhaps the most stunning art pieces in the book. They are indicative of the era. We did not put a dustjacket on the book because it would have taken away from the impact of the endpapers – which are a key design element in the original. The original did not have a dustjacket either. We also created a coloring on the text pages to give the book somewhat of an antique look. The books I have are close to 100 years old and are somewhat faded and worn. We restored the book and were conscious of the need to respect the illustrator’s original work.
⦁ The author, Sarah Addington, was a very interesting woman who lived during an extraordinary time. Tell us about her accomplished life. Sarah Addington was born in 1891 in the USA. Following her graduation from Earlham she attended Columbia University where she graduated as the only women member of the first class of the Pulitzer School of Journalism. In 1915 she became special writer for the Sunday magazine section of the New York Tribune newspaper and later was assistant publicity director of the National American Women Suffrage Association. In 1917, when New York State granted the vote to women, she from the resigned from the WSF to marry. Sarah continued her newspaper career writing under her maiden name after her marriage, serving in the city staff of the Tribune, and later entering the publicity field. From 1921 to 1923 she was on the staff of The Ladies’ Home Journal. Sarah wrote The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane for The Ladies’ Home Journal and it first appeared in print for the magazines December 1921 issue. She went on to write a number of other titles for the children’s market until she became ill and subsequently died in 1940.
⦁ Do children still believe in innocent stories like this one, or do they now tend to gravitate towards other things? Santa Claus remains the most influential character of all time and ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas the most famous poem in the English language. It is part ghost story, part magic, and loved the world over. Santa and the spirit of Christmas has survived over the centuries and I cannot imagine a time when families do not delight in the creativity of the story of jolly Santa flying through the air on his reindeer lead sleigh bringing joy and smiles to children everywhere. The Boy Who Lived In Pudding Lane adds to this wonderful folklore and answers many people’s curiosity about what life might have been like for Santa as a young boy. There has been a keen interest in the development of Santa, from the red suit debate with Coke and the Nordic tales and even how he evolved from St. Nicholas. Now there is a book that brings the early life of Santa into focus. It has been there for over 100 years and I like to think of the book as a discovery that has been sitting there waiting for a revival. It was much more fun to publish this piece of American folklore than it would have been to publish a new take on this story. I think respective this piece of Americana is the thrill as a publisher – a publisher who also happens to love Christmas.
⦁ Santa found his passion or calling at a young age. How can we encourage children to pursue their calling? Sarah Addington weaves an interesting character development into the story. One of the aspects of Santa’s character is this resolve to find a way to make toys for children that he can give away rather than sell. It poses somewhat of a challenge for the family that hopes that Santa will make his own way in the world. But where there is a will there is a way, and a solution, to Santa’s career challenge is found. The story is a wonderful tale of the act of giving, of wanting to look out and providing for others. In that regard, it is charming as well as insightful.
⦁ Santa was a great big brother to many siblings. How do we in courage children to look after their brothers and sisters? Santa’s siblings are not just younger. Santa has two sets of twin siblings, so the Claus household was one busy home. Santa was asked to pitch in for his mother and father. Both had their hands full. In the story Mr. Claus becomes anxious about how much food is needed for his many children. But everything does work out and everyone has enough. The book was written close to 100 years ago but it still resonates as a story of family life, of pulling together, of sharing and making sure there was plenty of love and kindness to go around. How do we teach the love of giving in young children? It starts perhaps at Christmas, by allowing children to provide and give gifts they either make or choose for loved ones. This early lesson and the direct involvement of children in the process can set them up for a lifetime of being generous, of thinking of others and for being on the receiving end of the gratitude that comes from giving with love.
American Author (1891-1940)
Following her graduation from Earlham College, Sarah Addington attended Columbia University where she graduated as the only female member of the first class of the Pulitzer School of Journalism.
In 1915 she became a writer for the Sunday magazine section of the New York Tribune. She became the assistant publicity director of the National American Women Suffrage Association and was working for the organization in 1917 when the state of New York granted the vote to women.
She married in 1917 but continued to write under her maiden name. From 1921 to 1923, Addington was on the staff of the popular magazine The Ladies’ Home Journal.
The Boy Who Lived in Pudding Lane, Sarah’s charming story of Santa Claus as a young boy, first appeared in print in the December 1921 issue of the magazine and was released in hardcover in 1922.
Gertrude A. Kay
American illustrator (1884-1939)
Gertrude A Kay studied illustration at the Philadelphia Museum School of Design and with Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia.
She produced covers and story illustrations for The Ladies’ Home Journal and other magazines from around 1908 through the 1920s.
She is well known as an illustrator of children’s books, including a popular 1923 edition of Alice in Wonderland
As a little boy, Santa, the son of a baker, was giving:
“Almost every day the children would come, and Santa would give them sweet things from the bakery, until they couldn’t eat any more.”
Santa had four little brothers:
“If you had four little brothers, you would know just how much there was for Santa to do. He used to feed the first batch of twins. (Mr. Claus always spoke of them as ‘batches,’ just as if they were cookies). He helped them into their apple-green trousers, and played bear with them in the backyard. He held the second batch, one on each knee, while they drank milk from pewter mugs, and crunched crackers between their new little teeth.”
Santa debuts his secret talents as a young boy:
“Then suddenly, with a bump and a clatter, down the chimney came a red-clad figure, with a bag on his arm and a merry chuckle.
“’Why, Santa Claus!’ exclaimed his mother, jumping up to hug her little boy.”
Santa is praised by his family:
“’Santa, however did you think of such a beautiful surprise?’ asked Mother Claus.
“Little Santa almost fell out of his chair with delight. But he couldn’t give his mother any satisfactory answer.
“’I just did,’ was all that he could say.
“’And how did you learn to make those toys out of kindling woodland leftover bits?’ asked his father.
“’I don’t know,’ he answered, blushing with pride and pleasure at his father’s question.”
Santa rescues kids from the clutches of the Pied Piper:
“’Comeback to Pudding Lane,’ entreated Santa again. You will all be shut, up in the pit and never see your mothers anymore.’
“But the children would not heed him, and kept following the dancing man in brown, who piped such a wonderful tune.
‘Santa was desperate. What could he do? The children would not listen to his warnings. They would soon be in the Pied Piper’s big black pits and all the mothers in Pudding Lane would cry their eyes out.
“Santa wrung his fat hands in despair.
“And just then he had an idea. He shouted to the children again.
“’Come home to Pudding Lane, and I will make every one of you a toy for next Holy Day!’”
A tradition is born:
“Just before he fell asleep, little Santa wondered how in the world he could ever make enough toys to go around among all the children of Pudding Lane. But, of course, a promise is a promise, and he had to do it somehow.
“So that was really the way the young Santa got started on his annual custom of making Holy Day gifts for all the children he knew.
“And how he loved to do it! He worked hours every day, and learned to make the most wonderful dolls, wooden animals, even rocking horses whose tails were not stuck way over on one side.
“That next Holy Day was the best Holy Day that Old King Cole’s people ever had. Any even after that, Santa made toys for the Holy Day, and he became the most beloved person in the kingdom even though he was but a little boy, the son of a poor baker.”
**This is a Sponsored/Compensated post written by me. All opinions are my own.
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