"The old favorite gets wrapped up in a Christmas bow, with excellent results."
—September 1, 2005
"In this takeoff on the familiar tale, Santa (in a clever bit of casting) plays Goldilocks."
Move over, Goldilocks. On Christmas Eve, a certain ursine trio takes a stroll and discovers a very different intruder in The Three Bears' Christmas by Kathy Duval, illus. by Paul Meisel. " `Someone rumpled my bed!' said Papa. `Someone rumpled my bed too,' said Mama. `Someone in a big hurry rumpled my bed,' said Baby Bear, `and forgot a red coat!' " Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
A charming revisit to the home of the Three Bears has just enough of the old familiar patterns to jog young readers' memories. But this entirely new take on the old tale has the three setting out gingerbread cookies to cool and taking a walk. On their walk, they play quiet games of "What do I see?" and "What do I hear?" before returning to find that someone has left the door open. Someone has munched on the cookies. And someone has dropped a big red mitten here, some boots there, and left a coat on Baby Bear's bed. Young listeners will quiver with excitement because they know just who it is. Sure enough, Santa has left presents and ridden off in his shirt sleeves. "Merry Christmas, Santa!" Meisel's full-color paintings feature humor, undistracting but richly-realized interiors and exteriors, and the cheerful warmth of the season. Merry Christmas, readers. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 3 to 7.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
It's Christmas Eve at the house of the Three Bears in their little cabin in the woods. They go out for a walk so their gingerbread bears can cool, and on their return-surprise! Someone has nibbled the gingerbread, sat in the chairs (breaking Baby Bear's) and rumpled all the beds, leaving items of red clothing scattered behind. But this time there is no one asleep in Baby Bear's bed, because as the bears make their discoveries, the intruder has been busy stuffing their stockings and leaving presents under their tree (including a new chair for Baby Bear). The bears run outside just in time to see Santa flying off in his sleigh in his long undies, and readers will have to hope that Santa keeps an extra outfit in the back of the sleigh. The text follows the structure of the traditional story with plenty of clues so that preschoolers can figure out who the bears' uninvited guest might be. Meisel's paintings use simple shapes and bright, holiday colors with a folk-art flair, especially in the outdoor scenes with deep-blue skies and snowy trees. Preschool teachers will want to add this holiday version of "The Three Bears" to their repertoire of "just-right" tales for holiday story times. (Picture book. 2-6)