Santa Claus and the Three Bears

Santa Claus and the Three Bears

4.0 1
by Maria Modugno

Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear weren't expecting any company when they went for a walk on Christmas Eve, but that's exactly what they got! Debut author Maria Modugno teams up with award-winning artists Jane and Brooke Dyer to deliver a festive twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with Santa Claus stepping in as the cheerful intruder.

Leaving their


Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear weren't expecting any company when they went for a walk on Christmas Eve, but that's exactly what they got! Debut author Maria Modugno teams up with award-winning artists Jane and Brooke Dyer to deliver a festive twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, with Santa Claus stepping in as the cheerful intruder.

Leaving their pudding to cool on the kitchen table, the unsuspecting bears head outdoors for a crisp evening walk. But when they return, they are shocked at what they find! Their pudding . . . eaten! Their chairs . . . broken! Their cozy beds . . . slept in! And it looks like the culprit is still there! Fast asleep in Baby Bear's bed is someone awfully familiar. A fluffy white beard, a red jacket covered in soot, and two black boots sticking out from under the covers. Could it really be . . . ?

With sparkling prose and splendid watercolor paintings, this delicious holiday treat glows with warmth and humor that will delight readers page after page.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a nifty holiday twist on the Goldilocks story, three polar bears prepare for Christ-mas Eve. While waiting for their pudding to cool, the three stroll through the snowy mountain village to see the Christmas lights. Writing with humor and a natural storyteller’s cadence, Modugno substitutes the proverbial intruder with Santa himself, who can’t resist the puddings on the table, breaks Baby Bear’s chair, and then takes a nap. The bears forgive the snoozing (and comparatively diminutive) Santa when he reveals gifts for the whole family. The Dyers incorporate a touch of naturalism into their anthropomorphic bears, and their featherlight backdrops and cozy cottage details help create an endearing restaging of the fairy tale. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
The Horn Book
“Cozy...well paced.
Booklist Online
“The Dyers do a beautiful job of reframing the tale into holiday fare.”
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
If the title calls to mind a certain classic fairy tale about a family of bears and an unexpected interloper, there is good reason for that. This is very much the familiar Goldilocks dressed in holiday garb. It is Christmas eve, and the bear family is getting ready for the next day through a series of traditional tasks. Big Papa Bear brings in the tree from the forest, middle-sized Mama Bear bakes, and Baby Bear is “getting in the way.” They sit down for a meal of Christmas pudding, but find it too hot and set out for a walk while it cools. While they are gone, someone enters the cottage but it is not a young girl. Rather, it is Santa! The pudding is a welcome break from a night of cookie-eating, and a rest in the chair seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, only Baby Bear’s pudding is the right temperature to eat, and only his chair is comfortable--but, apparently, fragile. Finally, Santa falls asleep in the cozy bed. When the bears return and find the intruder, all is made (mostly) well. In perhaps the story’s only surprise, Baby Bear gets a “great big” present, Mama Bear a “middle-size” present, and Papa Bear a “wee little” present. Readers do not get to see what the presents are, but they can share the bears’ sense of excitement and contentment. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green AGERANGE: Ages 3 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In this charming twist on the original tale, Santa Claus replaces Goldilocks as the domestic intruder in the three polar bears' home. While they are out taking a walk, he eats their warm and tasty Christmas pudding, breaks baby bear's chair, and falls asleep in his comfy bed, which was "just right." Young readers will enjoy the familiar refrain of the bears as they exclaim in their different voices, "Somebody has been sitting in my chair!" Upon his discovery, Santa begs secrecy and leaves a present for each of them in return. The warm and homey watercolor illustrations are big and bright enough for group sharing, yet detailed enough for an entertaining lapsit. The bears are dignified yet adorable, and Santa is a traditionally plump little elf. Simple and satisfying, this is sure to be a popular holiday read-aloud.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
Once upon a time, there was a clever Christmas innovation on the classic tale of Papa, Mama and Baby Bear, with Santa Claus standing in for Goldilocks. The bears in this irresistible tale are polar bears, living in a comfortable home with a stone fireplace and Scandinavian Christmas decorations. On Christmas Eve, the three bears go out for a late-night walk while their pudding cools on the table. Santa Claus arrives to deliver their presents, and he follows the Goldilocks pattern of eating the Christmas pudding, breaking Baby Bear's chair and falling asleep in Baby Bear's cozy bed. The text follows the familiar structure of the original story, but when the bears find Santa asleep, he pulls out their gifts instead of running away. In a delightful twist, there's "a great big present for Baby Bear, a middle-size present for Mama Bear, and a wee little present for Papa Bear." A final wordless page shows the bears just starting to open their presents on Christmas morning, but young readers must imagine the package contents for themselves. Charming watercolor illustrations by the mother-and-daughter team bring the polar bears to life and give Santa Claus an amiable, gentle persona. And Santa promises Baby Bear a new chair for next Christmas. Just right. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
AD830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Maria Modugno is a lifelong lover of reading and books. A children's book editor, she was inspired to write her first story by the antics of the polar bears at the Central Park Zoo. Maria lives in New York City.

Jane Dyer is the illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Cookies series by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, as well as numerous other award-winning picture books. She lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Brooke Dyer is the illustrator of Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson. Brooke lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts, with her husband, three young children, and their dog, Sophie.

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Santa Claus and the Three Bears 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
CanadaInker4 More than 1 year ago
On Christmas Eve, Mama, Papa and Baby Bear have just completed decorating their home inside and out, made their favourite Christmas pudding, and are going out to take a walk while the pudding cools down.  What they find when they return is not what they expected to encounter at all.  The pudding is gone, the chairs are broken, and sprawled out in Baby's bed is someone that they never could have guessed would be there in a million years.  A fluffy white beard, a red coat and two black boots give this trespasser's identity guessed's Santa Clause himself.  Exhausted during his whirlwind trip around the world, he polishes off the cookies and milk but is so tempted by the yummy pudding that he scoffs it all too.  Stuffed and overtired he decides he needs a short nap before continuing his long journey, and Baby Bear's comfy bed is just what the doctor ordered. Santa is mortified himself with his intrusion and embarrassed by being discovered in a very awkward situation indeed.  Upon his awakening he appeases the situation by doing what Santa does best... he extends gifts of reconciliation and peace to the bear family for his invasive actions in their home and promises to make everything right again.     The illustrations are truly amazing.  The mother-daughter team, Jane and Brooke Dryer have used watercolours and gouache to make the story come alive.  The details are charming and plentiful and will have you coming back again and again to discover something new.  The fairy tale mash-up is truly brilliant and this holiday picture book will be a welcome addition to your Christmas theme book collection.