cover image Santa Claus and the Three Bears

Santa Claus and the Three Bears

Maria Modugno, illus. by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer. Harper, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-170023-1

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.)