Reviews for Santa and the Three Bears


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 September 2000
Ages 2-5. In a Christmas variation of the Goldilocks story, Mama, Papa, and Baby Bear seek shelter from the storm in a cozy house that's all decked out for a party. It's Santa's house, and the place is empty because he is away delivering gifts and his wife has gone to get a tree to decorate. By the time she returns with her three young helpers, the bears have wreaked mayhem with the food and the decorations and are comfortably in bed fast asleep. After a rude awakening, they all help clean up and prepare a surprise party for Santa, who suspects nothing and gives his three new friends some wonderful gifts. Children will enjoy the playful variations on the old story and the language ("a chance to get my bearings"). Catalano's large comic pictures in festive reds and greens show the farce and fun when the big, galumphing bears create chaos and then the warmth when they join in and prepare for a party together. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Spring
While Santa and Mrs. Claus are away, three bears venture into their snug house and make themselves at home. The illustrations show the bear family leaving a messy trail behind as they move from room to room. Strangely, the text refers to Santa only as ""the jolly man,"" and, in spite of the title, it is Mrs. Claus who deals with the unexpected visitors. This is, however, a refreshing alternative to standard holiday tales. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2000 October #1
Original Christmas stories don't grow on pine trees, but this story of Papa, Mama, and Baby (Polar) Bear trying out the food, chairs, and bed in a cozy cottage at the North Pole strikes a balance that is just right. Santa is off making deliveries and Mrs. Claus and her three politically correct elves (an Asian girl, an African-American boy, and a redheaded boy) are out fetching a Christmas tree when down from the snowy hills come three playful polar bears that reprise Goldilocks's antics. When Mrs. Clausand the elves find the bears asleep in bed, the sharp-nosed Mrs. Claus strongly suggests that these bears better help clean up their mess instead of running out the door. They all work together to tidy up the cottage before welcoming Santa Claus back fora late Christmas Eve celebration. The elves and Mr. and Mrs. Claus even manage some gifts from the heart for their unexpected visitors. Catalano (Frog Went a-Courtin', 1998) has a particular fondness for polar bears that is apparent in his charming illustrations, with evocative expressions on the bears' faces and believable body positions even for unusual polar-bear behavior, such as carrying a tray of cookies or putting the star on top of the Christmas tree. This large-format book is thoughtfully designed using two-page spreads with bold, clear illustrations of the bears and the other characters, complementing a story that clearly and cleverly parallels the Goldilocks tale. A satisfying sugarplum for holiday story times with a wide range of children, from preschoolers through second graders. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright 2000 Kirkus Reviews

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