Santa Claus and the Three Bears

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Santa Claus and the Three Bears Book Poster Image
Beautiful art enhances holiday twist on classic fairy tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Invites comparison with the classic fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Positive Messages

Sometimes someone can make you angry, but you can forgive him after you understand the whole situation. Maybe his intentions were good.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

The three bears are a close and loving polar bear family. Santa is kind and generous but eats the bears' food and tries out their chairs and beds when they aren't home. He doesn't mean to steal or be destructive; he's just hungry, tired, and too big for Baby Bear's chair. He apologizes for breaking it and promises to bring a new one next year.   

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Santa Claus and the Three Bears puts a holiday spin on the classic fairy tale. Here the bears are polar bears rather than the typical brown or black bears in most tellings, living in a cozy cabin in the snow, all decorated for Christmas. When Santa makes a brief stop during his Christmas Eve ride around the globe, he does all the things Goldilocks does (eating Christmas pudding instead of porridge) before he's discovered. Exquisite art makes this tried-and-true home-invasion story a cut above. Great for holiday read-aloud. 

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What's the story?

It's Christmas Eve, and a gentle, loving polar bear family take a walk in the snow to let their Christmas pudding cool off. While they're out, Santa comes to drop off the family's gifts on his global rounds, helps himself to the bears' pudding, and breaks Baby Bear's chair. The family arrives home to find Santa taking a nap in Baby Bear's bed. Santa apologizes for the breakage and promises to bring them a new chair next year.

Is it any good?

SANTA CLAUS AND THE THREE BEARS does a great job of adapting the familiar tale for the holidays. Beautiful art with a traditional feel makes the book truly special and fun to pore over and notice all the little details of the polar bears' cozy, Christmas-y home. This is perfect for read-aloud, maybe with a nice cup of hot cocoa!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fairy tale updates. What do you think of taking a well-known tale and adding Santa to the mix? 

  • What do you see in the illustrations that gives you the idea the bears are ready for Christmas? 

  • Do you think Santa gets hungry and tired on his way around the world? Would you? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Picture books and holiday stories

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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