Bear and his friends in the forest make preparations for Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, but only Bear truly believes Santa will come.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, Bear announces that everyone needs to get ready for Santa Claus. Grumpy Badger is firmly convinced Santa won’t come because he doesn’t know their location. Mole, Mouse, and Hedgehog are interested but doubtful. Nevertheless, with Bear’s excited leadership, the animals decorate, get snacks ready for the reindeer, and put up signs to show Santa the way. They decorate a tree and sit near it to wait for Santa’s arrival. When Santa does arrive, he is impressed by Bear and invites him to come along in the sleigh to help deliver presents. The story is slight and sweet, offering just enough plot for young preschoolers. (Older children may wonder how Bear knows about Santa and where Bear found his Christmas decorating supplies.) The animals are cuddly-cute in the illustrations, and though the artistic style is simple, the characters’ emotions are clear. A huge trim size and sturdy, coated paper make this a good choice for reading to a group or for preschool use.
Children who have a hard time waiting for Christmas will enjoy seeing these little animal kindred spirits. (Picture book. 2-5)