The Santa Claus Book by Aurelius Battaglia

Today's vintage children's book starts off the season here with The Santa Claus Book, written and illustrated by Aurelius Battaglia. This book was formerly titled The Reindeer Book. Aurelius Battaglia, (1910-1984), was among other things, a prolific illustrator of children's books. 

Battaglia worked for Disney in the late 40's, contributing to Dumbo, Fantasia and Pinocchio. After that he joined the United Projections of America, a studio staffed by well known animation artists. It was there doing animation work that Battaglia honed his style, while also helping to start a trend of mid century illustration style that was looser and more abstract. (Info from Wikipedia,

Battaglia seems to have illustrated this book in a different style than his work from the 50's. (My copy is from 1982 but it looks like this book was originally done in 1965.) Check out the samples of his work below. And his work previous to mid century was also different. Artists are always changing and evolving.

The Santa Clause Book
By Aurelius Battaglia
Golden Press, New York,1982

Here is the original cover and title.

More work by Aurelius Battaglia:

image via Shelly Davies

This book is great, love the illustrations!

Above illustrations from Cowboy Jack the Sheriff via Golden Gems

image via La Petit Robert


  1. Ohhh, I am going to have get my hands on some of those books! Great illustrations. I had the santa book (first one pictured), it was in lousy condition and I sold it cheap. I love the books featured!

  2. Dear Jill, I always enjoy looking at all the pretty books on your blog. I don’t always comment, but I often visit. I’ve just awarded your blog a Liebester Award (you can get all the details on my blog). I hope you have fun with it. Barbara.

  3. Dear Jil, I chanced to see your blog name and can't resist to see it as I LOVE to know the story behind the pictures of story books .for my children pictures makes or breaks a story..... I like your blog and hopes to visit often ....so am following ... Kokila

  4. In Sixgun City people say
    They'll never forget one Summer's day
    The sun was hot, the sky was blue
    Folks mopped their brows and said, "Phew!"

    Had this book as a child and remember it all, - would love to see a complete version with all the pages online.....