Loveable Books with Bears
Winnie the Pooh is a beloved and well-known storybook character who’s reach now extends past the written word. This year marks 95 years since readers first fell in love with Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tiger, Eeyore and the Hundred Acre Woods! In celebration of this favorite series, we’re highlighting more loveable books with bears that you will enjoy reading with little ones.
You can shop for and donate all these books at our Bookshop page.
Share Some Kindness, Bring Some Light | Author/Illustrator: Apryl Stott | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
This book gives you that same warm and cozy feeling like the Winnie the Pooh series. Coco and Bear are best friends, but Bear is misunderstood by the other woodland animals. The two friends spread kindness and light in their community in the sweetest ways, and ultimately, work together to save the day. We love how this book shows the importance of not judging a book by its cover, and always searching for the goodness in others.
Bunny’s Book Club | Author: Annie Silvestro | Illustrator: Tatjana Mai-Wyss | Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
This is the perfect book for anyone who knows the one-of-a-kind magic of reading! Bunny and friends love to listen to the local librarian read stories outside, but when the weather turns and everyone stays inside, they devise a way to be reunited with their love of stories. What happens next is sure to make any reader smile and laugh, and truly appreciate the power of listening to a great story!
A Bear to Share | Authors: Jessica Alba, Kelly Sawyer Patricof, Norah Weinstein | Illustrator: Alicia Mas | Publisher: HarperCollins
This is a wonderful story that showcases how sometimes giving back feels better than receiving. Tiana loves her teddy bear so much, and is shocked when her mom suggests they replace him with a new one. She is faced with a difficult decision but ultimately learns a really valuable lesson about generosity. This book supports the nonprofit, Baby2Baby.
Bear is a Bear | Author: Johnathan Stutzman | Illustrator: Dan Santat | Publisher: Balzer + Bray
For many children, a stuffed teddy bear is their first best friend. It accompanies them on new adventures and keeps them safe and comforted at night. Bear is a Bear is the perfect tribute to these childhood companions who mean so much to us. With captivating pictures of a bear come to life, this may just become your family’s new favorite read aloud!
Woodland Dreams | Author: Karen Jameson | Illustrator: Marc Boutavant | Publisher: Chronicle Books
Woodland Dreams is a calming and lyrical bedtime story that animal lovers will enjoy. Follow along with a child as they walk through the woods and say goodnight to each woodland creature preparing for rest. This book includes accessible non-fiction vocabulary so it is a great pick for new information and language development as well.
The Bear in my Family | Author/Illustrator: Maya Tatsukawa | Publisher: Dial Books
This is a cute sibling story told from the perspective of a younger brother. The narrator explains how he really does have a loud, messy and too strong bear in his family! He cannot understand why, but everyone treats this bear like a member of the family. When the younger brother is confronted with bullies at school, he learns that it’s pretty great to have a bear in the family after all, and that they give the best hugs.
As Strong as the River | Author/Illustrator: Sarah Noble | Publisher: Flying Eye Books
This book is both a beautiful story about the special relationship between parent and child and a celebration of the wonder of nature. As Strong as the River is told from the point of view of a cub who wants to be bigger and stronger like the other bears. Readers will enjoy being a part of the cub’s journey as he learns important lessons from his mother and the strength of the world around him. This is a heartwarming book for readers of all ages.
Explorers of the Wild | Author/Illustrator: Cale Atkinson | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
This is the story of an unlikely duo - a boy and a bear who both consider themselves king’s of the wild! When they encounter each other at first, they are both scared and uncertain, but that uncertainty soon changes as they discover all they have in common. This is a lively and fun story about the power of friendship and ties that bind us together.
A Cub Story | Author: Kristen Tracy | Illustrator: Alison Farrell | Publisher: Chronicle Books
This board book is heartfelt and joyful, and a wonderful addition to a bedtime routine. It’s told from the perspective of a bear cub, and is a sweet and engaging story about what types of activities they do during each season. It’s also a great book for making comparisons while still being both fun and educational. It’s a winner in our book!
Bear series | Author: Karma Wilson | Illustrator: Jane Chapman | Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
This is one of our favorite series that we almost always have available for the kids in our community. They tell the story of a bear and his woodland friends who have a lot of fun together, and learn about each other along the way. We especially love Bear Snores On, Bear Says Thanks and Bear Can’t Wait.
The Curious Cares of Bears | Author: Douglas Florian | Illustrator: Sonia Sanchez | Publisher: little bee books
The Curious Cares of Bears is a great rhyming story to read aloud. Follow a family of bears as they get into all sorts of mischief and fun throughout the seasons, like stealing honey from beehives and feasting on berries, beetles and bugs. This is the follow-up book to the story, The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits. Both are engaging and informative stories about some of our favorite woodland creatures.
Something’s Wrong!: A Bear, a Hare and Some Underwear | Author: John Jory | Illustrator: Erin Kraan | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Jory John is a favorite children’s book author of stories like, The Bad Seed and The Cool Bean. This story has his same signature funny - Bear just cannot figure out what he forgot to do today, and he just feels off (could it be the underwear that he is wearing OVER his fur?). Luckily, even on his worst days, he always has his friends to help him through.
Unstoppable | Author: Adam Rex | Illustrator: Laura Park | Publisher: Chronicle Books
This book is silly and a lot of fun to read to kids. At its heart, it’s about cooperation and teamwork but we know your kids will be rolling with laughter at the funny shenanigans the animals in this story get up to. It can also be used as a great jumping off point for discussing community activism. It’s a super quirky read that has a lot to love.
Big Bear Was Not the Same | Author: Joanna Rowland | Illustrator: John Ledda | Publisher: Beaming Books
This book can be used to discuss trauma, anxiety and recovery with children. It chronicles the changes that Big Bear goes through after being stuck in a forest fire - he doesn’t feel as brave and even the smallest sounds that never used to bother him send him running scared. Little Bear models how having empathy and compassion for someone experiencing these types of feelings can help them heal and give them self that same grace. The book includes information from a therapist on how to deepen this discussion with kids.
Tops and Bottoms | Author/Illustrator: Janet Stevens | Publisher: Harcourt Brace
This book is sure to make any reader laugh! A clever Hare continuously tricks a lazy Bear into giving him and his family half his crops, season after season. Hare always works hard, and Bear usually doesn’t - so is it fair that he keeps tricking him? This is a classic retelling of a familiar tale and a great one to discuss ethics and fairness.
More bear books, if you can bear it:
We Go Together | Author: Link Dyrdahl | Illustrator: Eefje Kuijle | Publisher: Rainstorm Publishing
Woodland Dance | Author/Illustrator: Sandra Boynton | Publisher: Workman Publishing Group
Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep | Author: Maureen Wright | Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand | Publisher: Two Lions, First Edition
Bears Make the Best series | Author: Carmen Oliver | Illustrator: Jean Claude | Publisher: Picture Window Books
Mother Bruce series | Author/Illustrator: Ryan Higgins | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? | Author: Bill Martin Jr. | Illustrator: Eric Carle | Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Corduroy | Author/Illustrator: Don Freeman | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers