Little Bear’s Christmas
By Norbert Landa
Review by: Yvonne Gaudet
While Bertie Bear is playing in the fall leaves with his friends, They begin to talk about snow, Santa, and presents. Bertie, who hibernates all through the winter, gets extremely curious and asks his mother to explain these winter things to him. His mother tells Bertie how fortunate they are to be able to sleep the entire winter, and points out that the animals who aren’t able to do that face a cold, bitter winter every year. She explains how during the winter months the berries and mushrooms disappear and the creatures of the forest must trudge through the deep snow in order to get food. Santa, she tells Bertie, brings the animals presents so that they have something to look forward to during the bleak bitter weather. Mrs. Bear tells him that Santa wears a red coat and has a white beard but that she has never seen him.
Bertie decides that he wants to see snow and Santa and presents this winter so he hides his mothers alarm clock under his bed. When it is time to hibernate, and when Bertie’s mother falls asleep, Bertie sets the clock to just before Christmas, and then drifts off to sleep. Suddenly the alarm clock goes off and Bertie quickly turns it off. “Is it Christmas time already?” he wonders.
When he looks out of the window he sees a thick blanket of snow covering the forest, so he decides to go exploring for Santa Claus. He puts on his scarf and heads outside. The snow feels fluffy under his feet but it is very cold, and when he looks back he can see his footprints! When it starts snowing again, Bertie dances around in the white flakes, but soon it is snowing so hard he can not see past his own nose! He listens but hears nothing, and then he realizes that it will soon be dark and he must follow his footprints home. Unfortunately, it has snowed so much that he can not find his footprints. Bertie Bear is lost! He begins to call for help and within a few minutes he hears the jingling of bells. A sleigh draws nearer to Bertie and he notices that the driver is warmly bundled in a blanket to protect him from the cold. The man offers to take Bertie home in the sleigh and together they fly towards Bertie’s house. A flying sleigh! Oh, my! Soon Bertie is home and as the man gets down from the sleigh, Bertie notices that he is wearing a red coat and he has a white beard. Santa Claus! Santa gives Bertie a gift to share with his mother and promises to drop off a present every year as long as Bertie promises to hibernate from now on! Bertie agrees, Winter is too cold for him anyway, and he rushes into his house to hide the gift in his toy chest. He watches as Santa’s sleigh disappears in the night sky , and goes back to his bed.
When he next wakes up his mother is already awake, as it is Springtime. Bertie shares the gift with his mother, honey cakes and chocolate hearts, and tells her of his adventures. From now on Bertie and his mother can enjoy Christmas too, only they will celebrate it in the spring time!
I recommend this book for ages 4-10. Kids will really enjoy hearing this story when read aloud. It is not just another typical Santa story but has a fun plot and story line. My children enjoyed this one.