Santa Claus and the Three Bears by Maria Modugno

santa and the three bears

Santa Claus and the Three Bears
Maria Modugno
illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer
3 Stars

In this retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears we have three white polar bears who are getting ready for Christmas. Not only are they decorating the house and a Christmas tree, Mama Bear was also making Christmas pudding. But when they sit down for dinner their pudding is too hot. So they decide to go for a walk while it cools down. Then along comes Santa Claus. He pops down the chimney and at once spots the Christmas pudding. And seeing how he has had his share of cookies at everyone’s houses throughout the night, he thinks the Christmas pudding is a fine treat to eat. Of course one bowl is too hot, one is too cold, but one is just right. Santa eats all of Baby Bear’s pudding, ends up breaking Baby Bear’s chair, and falls fast asleep in Baby Bear’s bed. Soon the Bear family comes home, and are somewhat surprised to find their food eaten, their chairs sat in, and Santa fast asleep in Baby Bear’s bed.

This is a fun retelling of the traditional fairy tale…but at times it felt like just a bit of a stretch. I liked that it was Christmas pudding instead of porridge. But why on Christmas Eve of all nights would Santa stop to take a nap? And what would a kid think of Santa coming into their house and breaking something of theirs? But of course giving a great big present will make the fact that your chair is broken all-right. At least Santa did say sorry and he promised to bring a new chair next year…although a whole year is a long time to wait to get a new chair to sit in. But it is a classic story with a holiday twist. And the illustrations are fun with loads of white winter colors. But the last picture where Papa and Mama bear are sitting in their chairs opening presents and Baby Bear is sitting on the floor with pieces of a broken chair behind him opening his present just makes me wonder about if presents really makes everything all better.

Harper, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-170023-1
FORMAT: Picture Book
AGES: Preschool, Elementary School

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