The Berenstain Bears Save Christmas
Author: Stan and Jan Berenstain; Illustrator: Michael Berenstain
Pages: 48 pages
Publisher/Date: HarperCollins/2003
ISBN: 006052670X
Age Levels: 4-8

Book Review

Big, plastic Santas, reindeer "whose red noses would put Rudolph's nose to shame," and "speakers blaring Christmas hits" dot the landscape of Bear Country. Everyone seems caught up in the game, "trying for the best Christmas display. All of them were trying to turn nighttime into day."

Not only have the adult bears been swept up in the commercialism of the holiday, the cubs have too. They send Santa email now, instead of letters, demanding video games and virtual pets.

Both Mama Bear and Santa are worried that the "greedies" will spoil Christmas day. When the bears find out that Santa has cancelled Christmas, Papa bear and the cubs get the message and follow Mama's advice about trying to restore the true spirit of Christmas.

But will it be too late? Will Christmas be saved?

Double- and single-page illustrations are done in the colorful, cartoon-like Berenstain style. While the rhyming text does not scan perfectly and is a tad long, the story will appeal to Berenstain Bear fans.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2004 Education Oasis®

About the Author

Stan and Jan Berenstain were already successful cartoonists for magazines and adult humor books when they had a great idea for a children's book. Their sons, Leo and Mike, had just begun to read, and they decided to create a funny family who would have the everyday adventures children really want to read about. Then, as the Berenstains explain, "We chose bears because they can stand up, they look good in clothes, and they were fun to draw." The first story starring the Bear family, The Big Honey Hunt, appeared in 1962. Since then more than 250 Berenstain Bears books have been published.

About the Illustrator

Mike Berenstain has illustrated more than forty Berenstain Bears books. He has also written thirty-odd books on his own. The Bear family has expanded over the years as well. Sister Bear arrived in 1974, and another new baby joined the family in 2000.