Father Christmas and the Three Bears
Nosy Crow, 2022
32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
It’s Christmas Eve and Father Christmas has just the last village of the Back of Beyond to visit but he is really tired. Seeing The Three Bear’s cottage far below he stops for a rest and soon falls asleep in front of the fire. But when the bears come home they discover NOTHING will wake him. Not Baby Bear setting off the alarm clocks; not Mummy Bear playing Jingle Bells very loudly on the piano; not even Daddy Bear blowing his alpenhorn! How will the children of Back of Beyond get their presents?
Baby Bear has an idea and very soon the Fairy-Tale Rescue Rangers are there to deliver the last presents so no one misses out. But how will they cross the Roaring Rushing River, navigate the Deepest Darkest Wood and get past the Most Monstrous Mountain . . . all before the children wake up on Christmas morning?
This is one of those simple-good-fun stories that young children delight in at this time of the year, even moreso because they will recognise the members of the Fairy-Tale Rescue Rangers and be able to use what they know about them to predict how they might overcome the obstacles that confront them, enabling them to become involved in the story rather than just passively listening. They might even like to predict how Baby Bear might be able to help the Fairy-Tale Rescue Rangers in the future.
An interesting storyline, bright pictures, familiar characters, problems to solve – this has all the elements of an engaging story for young readers.