Santa and the Three Bears



Bland but enjoyable story for preschoolers.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The bears trash the Claus's house.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the bears behave badly but do have to clean up later.

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What's the story?

Mrs. Claus is planning a surprise party for Santa when he returns from delivering toys. She and the elves set out to find a tree to decorate, but she accidentally leaves the door open.

A family of bears enter the house to get warm. They eat the food, mess up the room, trash the workshop, flatten the chairs, and finally fall asleep in Santa's bed.

Mrs. Claus makes the bears help clean up and make more food. When Santa comes home, they have a party. But since there are no presents for the bears, Santa gives Papa Bear his compass, Mrs. Claus gives Mama Bear her coat, and the elves give Baby Bear their sled.

Is it any good?


This is a pleasant story for preschoolers -- a little bland and overly cute, but enjoyable for many. The reversal on the Goldilocks story brings a grin of recognition and a feeling of cleverness to many young listeners.

The pictures, though, are uninspired. All are muted and lack energy, making it look as though they don't have adequate lighting in the Claus home. There's a surprising amount of brown for a Christmas story. Santa's workshop is especially disappointing, looking more like a dull closet on moving day than the workshop where toys for all the children of the world are made.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the bears' behavior. Was Mrs. Claus right to make them clean up? Were you surprised the Clauses gave the bears gifts after their poor behavior?

Book details

Author:Dominic Catalano
Illustrator:Dominic Catalano
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Boyds Mills Press
Publication date:January 1, 2000
Number of pages:29
Publisher's recommended age(s):2 - 4

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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