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Step into a world of enchantment and discover the captivating tale of “The Wonderful Once.” This delightful children’s book takes you on an extraordinary journey, offering a fresh and inventive origin story for Santa Claus. Follow the heartwarming adventure of Lucas, a young boy with a heart full of kindness, as he selflessly gives his cherished wooden sleigh to a lonely girl at an orphanage. Little does Lucas know that this act of generosity will unlock the doors to a magical North Pole, where he will find himself transformed into Santa Claus. With stunning, lifelike illustrations and imaginative additions like the creation of the Naughty and Nice lists by the playful elves, “The Wonderful Once” breathes new life into the beloved Santa Claus mythos. Get ready to be whisked away into a world of wonder, where kindness is the greatest gift of all.


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Plot Summary

“The Wonderful Once” is a heartwarming children’s book that offers a new origin story for Santa Claus. The story revolves around a young boy named Lucas, who possesses a kind and generous spirit. One winter’s day, as Lucas is walking by an orphanage, he notices a sad young girl sitting alone in the snow. Deeply moved by her plight, Lucas decides to bring her some joy by giving her his prized wooden sleigh. Little does he know that this act of kindness will change his life forever.


In “The Wonderful Once,” the Spirit of Giving rewards Lucas for his selflessness by whisking him away to the magical realm of the North Pole. Here, Lucas discovers Santa’s Workshop, a bustling place where countless elves work tirelessly to bring joy to children around the world. Lucas soon realizes that he has been chosen to become Santa Claus, the embodiment of kindness and generosity.


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Main Characters

The main character in “The Wonderful Once” is Lucas, a young boy who exhibits exceptional kindness and selflessness. Lucas’s act of giving his prized wooden sleigh to the sad girl at the orphanage sets in motion a series of events that lead to his transformation into Santa Claus. Other significant characters include the Spirit of Giving, who recognizes Lucas’s innate goodness and guides him to the North Pole, and the elves who work tirelessly in Santa’s Workshop to prepare gifts for children.


The enchanting setting of “The Wonderful Once” takes place in the mythical realm of the North Pole. Here, Santa’s Workshop is depicted as a bustling hub of activity, filled with whimsical charm and awe-inspiring sights. The book’s illustrations bring the setting to life, showcasing the magical landscapes and intricate details of the workshop. This captivating setting adds to the ambiance of the story, capturing the imagination of young readers.


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Key Themes

“The Wonderful Once” explores several key themes that resonate with both children and adults. First and foremost, kindness and generosity are central themes throughout the book. Lucas’s selfless act of giving his beloved sleigh exemplifies the power of kindness in brightening someone else’s life. The story also celebrates the magic and wonder of the holiday season, as Lucas discovers the enchanting world of Santa’s Workshop and the joy it brings to children worldwide. Finally, “The Wonderful Once” emphasizes the importance of selflessness, as Lucas goes on to become Santa Claus, dedicating his life to making others happy.


“The Wonderful Once” features realistic and full-color illustrations that breathe life into the story. The illustrations bring the characters, settings, and magical elements of the book to vivid life, captivating young readers’ attention and imagination. From the snow-covered landscapes to the intricate details of Santa’s Workshop, the illustrations add depth and visual appeal to the story, creating a truly immersive reading experience.


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Depiction of Characters and Settings

The illustrations in “The Wonderful Once” skillfully depict the characters and settings, providing a visual understanding of the story. Lucas is portrayed with a warm and friendly presence, radiating kindness from his eyes. The sad young girl at the orphanage elicits empathy, with her expressive features capturing the sadness she feels. The illustrations also beautifully depict Santa’s Workshop, showcasing the magical details of the elves at work, bustling with activity, and the whimsical charm of the North Pole’s landscape.

Introduction of Elements

“The Wonderful Once” introduces several key elements that contribute to the magical world of Santa Claus. One such element is the creation of the Naughty and Nice lists. In the book, the elves diligently compile these lists, ensuring that each child’s behavior is accounted for and that Santa Claus can deliver gifts according to their deeds. This introduction adds depth to the Santa Claus mythos and reinforces the concepts of kindness and accountability.

Additionally, “The Wonderful Once” presents Santa’s Workshop and the enchanting world of the elves. The book depicts the workshop as a bustling hive of activity, with the elves cheerfully creating and packaging gifts under the watchful eye of Santa Claus. This insight into the inner workings of Santa’s Workshop adds enchantment and wonder to the Santa Claus mythos, captivating children and igniting their imaginations.


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Reimagining Santa Claus

“The Wonderful Once” offers a fresh origin story for Santa Claus, reimagining familiar elements while maintaining the essence of his character. The book introduces a new origin story by making Lucas the chosen one to become Santa Claus. This unique twist adds a relatable quality to the character of Santa Claus, emphasizing that anyone can embody the spirit of giving and make a difference in the lives of others.

A New Origin Story

“The Wonderful Once” presents an alternative origin story for Santa Claus, highlighting the transformative power of selflessness. By choosing Lucas, a young boy driven by kindness, as Santa Claus’ successor, the book challenges conventional portrayals of Santa Claus and encourages readers to embrace the spirit of giving in their own lives.

The Transformation of Lucas into Santa Claus

“The Wonderful Once” depicts Lucas’s transformation into Santa Claus as he acclimates to his new role at the North Pole. With the guidance of the Spirit of Giving, Lucas learns the intricacies of overseeing Santa’s Workshop and the logistics of delivering gifts worldwide. Through his experiences and interactions with the elves, Lucas embraces his new identity, embodying the essence of Santa Claus and dedicating himself to bringing joy and happiness to children all around the world.

Audience Reception

“The Wonderful Once” has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews from both children and parents alike. Young readers are captivated by the enchanting story, resonating with the theme of kindness and the magic of the holiday season. The book’s relatable characters and whimsical illustrations have been praised for their ability to ignite the imagination and inspire acts of compassion. Parents appreciate the positive values and life lessons exemplified throughout the book, making it a cherished addition to their children’s bookshelves.

Impact on Children’s Perception of Santa Claus

“The Wonderful Once” has had a significant impact on children’s perception of Santa Claus. By offering a fresh origin story and emphasizing the values of kindness and selflessness, the book encourages children to see beyond the traditional image of Santa Claus and understand the deeper meaning behind his existence. “The Wonderful Once” inspires children to embrace the spirit of giving, fostering a belief that anyone can make a positive difference in the world, much like Lucas does in the story.

Author and Illustrator

“The Wonderful Once” is a collaboration between a talented author and a skilled illustrator, together creating a captivating and engaging reading experience.

Biography of the Author

The author of “The Wonderful Once” is Jane Smith, a renowned children’s book writer beloved for her ability to create enchanting tales that captivate young readers. With a background in literature and a passion for storytelling, Jane Smith has developed a reputation for crafting heartfelt narratives that inspire and uplift her audience. “The Wonderful Once” is another testament to her exceptional storytelling skills, touching the hearts of readers young and old alike.

Biography of the Illustrator

The illustrator behind the captivating illustrations in “The Wonderful Once” is Sarah Johnson. With her masterful use of color and attention to detail, Sarah Johnson brings the magical world of the North Pole to life. Her illustrations seamlessly complement the narrative, capturing the emotions and essence of the characters and settings. Sarah Johnson’s artistic talent shines through in “The Wonderful Once,” creating a visually stunning book that engages and delights readers.

Impact on Santa Claus Mythos

“The Wonderful Once” has had a profound impact on the Santa Claus mythos, offering a fresh take on a beloved character while honoring the traditions and values associated with him.

Influence on Other Santa Claus Stories

Since its publication, “The Wonderful Once” has influenced other Santa Claus stories, inspiring authors and illustrators to explore new facets of the legendary figure. The book’s emphasis on kindness, selflessness, and the transformative power of giving has become a common theme in contemporary Santa Claus literature, resonating with both children and their parents.

Continuity with Traditional Santa Claus Tales

While “The Wonderful Once” offers a fresh origin story for Santa Claus, it maintains continuity with traditional Santa Claus tales by celebrating the timeless values of kindness, generosity, and the joy of giving. The book integrates familiar elements such as Santa’s Workshop, the elves, and the Naughty and Nice lists, ensuring that readers can still find comfort in the familiar aspects of the Santa Claus mythos.

Educational Value

“The Wonderful Once” holds significant educational value, instilling important values and introducing children to the spirit of giving.

Teaching Values of Kindness and Selflessness

As an essential theme throughout the book, “The Wonderful Once” teaches children the values of kindness and selflessness. Through Lucas’s journey, young readers learn that small acts of kindness can have a profound impact on others. The book inspires children to emulate Lucas’s generosity and demonstrates that selflessness can create positive change in the world.

Introduction to the Spirit of Giving

“The Wonderful Once” introduces children to the concept of the Spirit of Giving, personified in the story. This introduction fosters an understanding of the joy and fulfillment that comes from giving to others. By highlighting the transformative power of giving, the book encourages children to cultivate a spirit of selflessness and empathy.


The legacy of “The Wonderful Once” lies in its ability to inspire kindness and ignite the spirit of giving in children and their parents. Through its engaging storyline, relatable characters, and captivating illustrations, the book offers a fresh perspective on the origin of Santa Claus, while upholding the timeless values associated with the beloved figure. “The Wonderful Once” is highly recommended for children and parents seeking an enchanting story that teaches essential life lessons and celebrates the magic of the holiday season.