98+ of the Best Books About Bears

Looking for a list of the best kids books about bears?

When it comes to children’s books, bear characters are some of the most popular, classic, and cuddly. In fact, we think bears might be the most prevalent animal featured in children’s literature. Here we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about bears or that have bear characters.

This list has tons of variety. It includes classic bear characters many children and adults know and love, like Winnie-the-Pooh, Corduroy, Paddington, and the Berenstain Bears. It also highlights some wonderful new stories featuring bear characters that are sure to become treasured favorites. Along with fun fiction stories, it includes nonfiction titles that share fascinating stories about bears.

Our list includes three book types: board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are good for infants to toddler age kids. Picture books are great for toddlers and elementary age kids. Board books and picture books are fun for adults to read aloud to children. Our list also includes chapter books about bears for elementary school and middle school age tween readers.

Let us know what you would add to the list.

Top 10 Books About Bears

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#1
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Rob Biddulph is a phenomenal children’s book author and illustrator, and I love his work in The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!. His creative rhyming leads readers through a wonderful tale of the value of competition and friendship, while his fun illustrations bring the story to life.

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich book
#2
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Grammy

This delightful story is told in absolute opposition to Occam’s razor. While the simplest explanation may be the most likely, it can’t possibly be so entertaining. On pages drenched with color, we witness the bear’s alleged antics; he has so much character and personality. Keep an eye open for the visual jokes. You will want to read this one again and again.

Bear meets sandwich, adventure ensues. . . . A sly classic-in-the-making for fans of Jon Klassen, Peter Brown, and Mo Willems.

By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened. So let me tell you. It all started with the bear . . .

So begins Julia Sarcone-Roach’s delicious tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale.

The wonderfully told story, spectacular illustrations, and surprise ending make this Julia Sarcone-Roach’s best book to date. You’ll want to share it with your friends (and keep a close eye on your lunch).

Ida, Always book
#3
Ida, Always
Written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears.

Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.

Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favorite spots.

Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#4
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is such a fun story of best friends who can’t always be together. Beatrice wonders where Bear has gone and when she finds out he is hibernating because it’s Winter she decides to try and go along with him. When that proves to be difficult she finds another way to close the distance between the two friends. It is fun to read this with little ones who may not know what different seasons mean for different animals.

Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can’t find Bear anywhere. She hears he’s gone to hibernate — but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season…unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.

The Best Bear in All the World book
#5
The Best Bear in All the World
Written by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Kate Saunders, and Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Mark Burgess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love these stories based off of the original Winnie the Pooh, and love that it’s divided up into four stories with the four seasons. Pooh is always so positive and looks for the good in everything, there’s so much wisdom from the little sayings throughout the story. I think Pooh is a great example of choosing to look at the bright side and be happy. :) Plus, I was surprised by how high quality this book is! The illustrations throughout are also gorgeous.

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now a New York Times Bestseller.

The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.

The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

Baby Bear Sees Blue book
#6
Baby Bear Sees Blue
Written and illustrated by Ashley Wolff
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book about colors! It’s so sweet, and I love that there’s a storyline, following baby bear throughout his day to see what colors he finds all around him. So sweet, and the illustrations are just as beautiful!

Explore the world of color with Baby Bear in this clever and adorable story now available as a Classic Board Book!

Baby Bear has so much to learn about the world! From the moment he wakes until it’s time to curl up and go to sleep, he explores outside with his mama. They see green leaves, blue jays, brown trout, and—best of all—a patch of yummy red strawberries.

From bestselling author-illustrator Ashley Wolff, here is a clever concept book that combines engaging and intricate linocut illustrations with a story that enthusiastically encourages children to identify a variety of vibrant colors. Young readers will delight in this chance to join Baby Bear as he discovers the colorful wonders of his lively, leafy forest home.

Blueberries for Sal book
#7
Blueberries for Sal
Written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

What happens when Sal and her mother meet a mother bear and her cub? A beloved classic is born!

Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one?

With its expressive line drawings and charming story, Blueberries for Sal has won readers’ hearts since its first publication in 1948.

Corduroy book
#8
Corduroy
Written and illustrated by Don Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968, and in the fifty years since, his adventures have never stopped.

Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her. Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button!

Celebrate 50 years of this irresistible childhood classic, a heartwarming story about a little bear and a little girl finding the friend they have always wanted in each other.

Room for Bear book
#9
Room for Bear
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This adorable blended family (ducks + a bear) absolutely has my heart. I love the charming watercolor illustrations and the message that home is when you’re all together.

A huggable picture-book debut about a bear who doesn’t quite fit—perfect for fans of Karma Wilson’s Bear Snores On and Philip C. Snead & Erin Stead’s Bear Has a Story to Tell.

When Bear wakes up one spring, he goes in search of a new home. And he thinks he’s found the perfect place. Unfortunately, things are a bit . . . snug.

Can five little ducks find room for one big bear in their home—and in their hearts? Ciara Gavin’s luminous picture-book debut explores the unconditional love of families in all their colors, shapes, and sizes.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt book
#10
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2
Thoughts from Grammy

More than 30 years old and in both paper and board book editions, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic for children of all ages. Helen Oxenbury’s beautiful watercolor illustrations alternate with black/white pencil drawings and contain lovely details; they are a perfect complement to the text. The text repeats and builds suspense as the adventurous family continues their quest to find and then avoid the bear. It’s predictability makes it especially fun for young readers to hear again and again.

Now the very youngest readers can join in the fun with this Classic Board Book™ edition of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Full of delightful comedy and high drama, this tale of a brave family’s joyous romp through sweeping landscapes is sure to win new fans.

Books About Bears and Friendship

The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! book
#1
The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Rob Biddulph is a phenomenal children’s book author and illustrator, and I love his work in The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR!. His creative rhyming leads readers through a wonderful tale of the value of competition and friendship, while his fun illustrations bring the story to life.

From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

The Bear Who Stared book
#2
The Bear Who Stared
Written and illustrated by Duncan Beedie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

There once was a bear who liked to stare… and stare… and STARE. Bear doesn’t mean to be rude, he’s just curious but too shy to say anything. But nobody likes being stared at and it soon gets Bear into trouble. Luckily a goggly-eyed frog helps Bear realise that sometimes a smile is all you need to turn a stare into a friendly hello.

Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies book
#3
Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies
Written and illustrated by Carmen Oliver
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

All the students in the class are assigned reading buddies, except for Adelaide. She already has one, a bear! And Adelaide is quite persuasive as she explains to her language arts teacher, Mrs. Fitz-Pea, and the reader, that bears really do make the best reading buddies: they sniff out good books and their claws are just right for turning pages. And the bear looks rather friendly (and studious) in these crayon-bright, contemporary illustrations, making this is must-read picture book for story time!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bear's Book - A story about stories, writing, reading, and friendship When Bear’s favorite book of stories falls apart, he is determined to write one of his own. He ventures into the forest for inspiration, but writing is harder than he thinks, and he soon discovers that he needs help from his friends. See how Bear transforms their day into a wonderful adventure in this story about creativity and friendship.

  2. Oh, Bear - The Goodfather - The whimsical watercoloring and playful text make Oh, Bear a delightful story of fun and friendship. The soft illustrations give it a high re-readability appeal, as does Bear’s good natured attitude. Yet for all it’s fun, there’s a nice level of depth to the tale, of celebrating when your loss becomes another’s gain.

  3. Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue - ‘I hope it’s not too far away,’ says Red Knit Cap Girl. ‘Follow the light of the Moon,’ calls Owl. In this heartwarming follow-up to Naoko Stoop’s debut Red Knit Cap Girl, Red Knit Cap Girl meets a lost Polar Bear Cub. Determined to help him find his way home, to an Arctic land of ice and snow, Red Knit Cap Girl, White Bunny, and Polar Bear Cub set off on an unforgettable voyage. Gorgeously illustrated on wood grain, Red Knit Cap Girl’s curiosity, imagination, and joy will captivate the hearts of readers young and old. Simple prose and luminous pictures will remind readers that even small actions - such as recycling - can help to solve big world problems, in this inspiring story that celebrates friendship, bravery, and the importance of home.

  4. Pine & Boof: Blast Off! - Frog and Toad meets Elephant & Piggie in the second installment of a humorous and heartfelt picture book series about the adventures of Boof the bear and Pine the porcupine, from the acclaimed author-illustrator of There’s a Giraffe in My Soup and I Am Not a Chair! There’s no one Boof the bear would rather spend the day with than his best friend—Pine the porcupine. And there’s nothing he’d rather do than collect things, which is his favorite hobby of all time. So one day, when Boof is collecting rocks with Pine, he doesn’t think the day could get any better, until . . . An egg falls on Boof’s head—all the way from outer space! Now it’s up to Pine and Boof to return the space egg to its space nest . . . before it hatches. They’ll need a rocket ship, space training, and plenty of sandwiches for the trip. But most important, they’ll need each other to complete a mission that’s out of this world! Pine & Boof: Blast Off! tells the story of an unlikely friendship through highly original characters and vibrant illustrations that are impossible not to love.

Want to see 25 more children's books about bears and friendship?

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Books About Bears and Hibernation

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear book
#1
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
Written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is such a fun story of best friends who can’t always be together. Beatrice wonders where Bear has gone and when she finds out he is hibernating because it’s Winter she decides to try and go along with him. When that proves to be difficult she finds another way to close the distance between the two friends. It is fun to read this with little ones who may not know what different seasons mean for different animals.

Beatrice & Bear meet one spring day and become best buddies. They play together through summer and fall. Then winter comes and Beatrice can’t find Bear anywhere. She hears he’s gone to hibernate — but where on earth is that? When Beatrice learns that hibernation is not a place and that Bear will be sleeping all winter long, she fears it will be a lonely season…unless she can come up with a brilliant plan. This delightful story of an irrepressible bunny will engage readers on many levels as it celebrates creativity, making the best of circumstances, and the joy of the changing seasons.

Bear Is Not Tired book
#2
Bear Is Not Tired
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Bear and his duck family do everything together. That is, until winter arrives. Bear is supposed to hibernate this time of year, but he doesn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. But can Bear really stay awake all winter long? Gentle humor and endearing illustrations bring a delightful twist to a bedtime routine that children and their parents will easily recognize.

Bear Can't Sleep book
#3
Bear Can't Sleep
Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Bear’s many animal friends try to help him get to sleep in time for winter hibernation in this companion story to Bear Snores On. It’s winter, and deep in the forest, Bear should be fast asleep. But when his friends come by to check on him, they realize that Bear is still awake! They brew him hot tea and sing him lullabies, but nothing seems to work. Can Bear get to bed? Or will he be up all winter?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Shh! Bears Sleeping - In the fall When leaves turn red Bears know soon It’s time for bed Comes winter Comes snow Bears are ready Bears go In their cave Warm and deep Winter is time For bears to sleep A lilting read-aloud text and stunning pictures combine to make an irresistibly appealing picture book that follows these fascinating animal friends through the cycle of the year. A page of facts about bears will answer young readers’ questions as they begin to explore the wonders of the natural world.

  2. The Curious Cares of Bears - One family of bears does all their favorite things before it’s time to hibernate for the winter in this follow-up to The Wonderful Habits of Rabbits by the award-winning author and illustrator team of Douglas Florian and Sonia Sánchez, now available as a board book! The cares of bears are curious indeed, as you will discover, if you care to read. Join a family of bears as they have all kinds of fun throughout the seasons! From climbing up trees and stealing honey to giving bear hugs and lazing in lakes, these bears have many curious cares. But when winter comes, it’s time to hibernate. Can the cares of these bears wait until spring? The rhyming text makes this story a perfect read-along book for storytime!

  3. Old Bear Board Book - Come explore the four seasons with Old Bear

  4. The Bear (Lighthouse Family) - Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant brings the peaceful sounds, sights, and characters of the coast vividly to life in the eighth book of the Lighthouse Family series, in which the family meets a bear who has just woken up from hibernation! After a long winter cooped up in the lighthouse, Whistler and Lila are excited to go outside and explore. In the forest, they see some frosty vapor rising from a hole in the roots of a tree. They investigate and discover that it is a hibernating bear. The mouse children wait patiently for the bear to wake up and when he does, they invite him for breakfast at the lighthouse. But their new friend might not be quite done hibernating…

Want to see more children's books about hibernation?

Books About Bears and Stuffed Animal Friends

The Best Bear in All the World book
#1
The Best Bear in All the World
Written by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Kate Saunders, and Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Mark Burgess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love these stories based off of the original Winnie the Pooh, and love that it’s divided up into four stories with the four seasons. Pooh is always so positive and looks for the good in everything, there’s so much wisdom from the little sayings throughout the story. I think Pooh is a great example of choosing to look at the bright side and be happy. :) Plus, I was surprised by how high quality this book is! The illustrations throughout are also gorgeous.

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now a New York Times Bestseller.

The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.

The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

Corduroy book
#2
Corduroy
Written and illustrated by Don Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Corduroy was first introduced to readers in 1968, and in the fifty years since, his adventures have never stopped.

Corduroy has been on the department store shelf for a long time. Yet as soon as Lisa sees him, she knows that he’s the bear for her. Her mother, though, thinks he’s a little shopworn—he’s even missing a button! Still, Corduroy knows that with a bit of work he can tidy himself up and be just the bear for Lisa. And where better to start than with a nighttime adventure through the department store, searching for a new button!

Celebrate 50 years of this irresistible childhood classic, a heartwarming story about a little bear and a little girl finding the friend they have always wanted in each other.

Winnie-the-Pooh book
#3
Winnie-the-Pooh
Written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The four Pooh books created by A. A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard have long been cherished by children and adults. These stories - starring the round, endearing Bear of Little Brain and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and others - are as popular today as when they first enchanted readers more than seventy years ago.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Bear on the Stair - Look over there! A bear on the stair. Why is he there? Read on…if you dare!

  2. Bear's Scare - This adorable, quirky board book features a charming odd-couple friendship and is perfect for fans of Peter Brown and Greg Pizzoli. Bear likes to keep his house clean and tidy. In fact, the only thing Bear loves more than cleaning is taking care of his small stuffed friend, Ursa. Then Bear sees a sticky spiderweb . . . and where there’s a web there is certainly a spider! The messy guest must be found, but what Bear and Ursa finally discover might just be an unlikely friend.

  3. Horrible Bear! - The New York Times-bestselling duo behind Wolfie the Bunny presents a hilarious new book about accidents, outbursts, manners…and the power of saying “I’m sorry.” Bear didn’t mean to break a little girl’s kite, but she’s upset anyway—upset enough to shout “HORRIBLE BEAR!” Bear is indignant. He doesn’t think he’s horrible! Then Bear gets a truly Horrible Bear idea. What will he do next? As Bear prepares to live up to his formerly undeserved reputation, the girl makes a mistake of her own, and realizes that maybe—just maybe—Bear isn’t as horrible as she had thought.

  4. Bear at the Beach and Other Adventures - In Bear at the Beach & Others Adventures, kids and parents will find a collection of three stories from writer and illustrator Clay Carmichael. The loveable and stuffed Bear is center stage, taking on adventures of the heart at home and afar. In Bear at the Beach, our plush protagonist sets out to find a father who will love him unconditionally, but learns that his little girl, Clara, gives him all the love he needs. In Used-Up Bear, time has left our favorite stuffed toy in dire, threadbare straits. Will Clara throw Bear away in favor of a shiny new toy? The surprising and heart-warming conclusion cements Bear’s place in Clara’s life. Bear loses Clara in Lonesome Bear, and befriends new toys on his search for his best friend. Full of emotions that young children can relate to, Clay Carmichael’s endearing collection is a gentle introduction to reading

Want to see more children's books about stuffed animal friends?

Books About Bears and Adventure

We're Going on a Bear Hunt book
#1
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-2
Thoughts from Grammy

More than 30 years old and in both paper and board book editions, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic for children of all ages. Helen Oxenbury’s beautiful watercolor illustrations alternate with black/white pencil drawings and contain lovely details; they are a perfect complement to the text. The text repeats and builds suspense as the adventurous family continues their quest to find and then avoid the bear. It’s predictability makes it especially fun for young readers to hear again and again.

Now the very youngest readers can join in the fun with this Classic Board Book™ edition of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Full of delightful comedy and high drama, this tale of a brave family’s joyous romp through sweeping landscapes is sure to win new fans.

Blueberries for Sal book
#2
Blueberries for Sal
Written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

What happens when Sal and her mother meet a mother bear and her cub? A beloved classic is born!

Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk! Sal and her mother a picking blueberries to can for the winter. But when Sal wanders to the other side of Blueberry Hill, she discovers a mama bear preparing for her own long winter. Meanwhile Sal’s mother is being followed by a small bear with a big appetite for berries! Will each mother go home with the right little one?

With its expressive line drawings and charming story, Blueberries for Sal has won readers’ hearts since its first publication in 1948.

Bizzy Bear: Pirate Adventure book
#3
Bizzy Bear: Pirate Adventure
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

With chunky sliders to push and pull, this robust little board book is perfect for active toddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humor, it is sure to become a classic in the family library.

Today, Bizzy Bear is packing his ship, hoisting the Jolly Roger and setting sail on an exciting pirate adventure! Little readers will love helping Bizzy steer his ship, dig for treasure, and open the treasure chest.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling’s beloved collection of short stories about a boy raised by wolves who learns the Laws of the Jungle. Mowgli, lost in the deep jungle as a child, is adopted into a family of wolves. Hunted by Shere Khan, the Bengal tiger, Mowgli is allowed to run with the wolf pack under the protection of Bagheera, the black panther, and Baloo, the brown bear who teaches wolf cubs the Laws of the Jungle.

  2. Bear Out There - Bear and Spider are back in another charming odd-couple friendship story, perfect for fans of Peter Brown and Greg Pizzoli. Bear’s favorite place is inside. He loves sharing his tidy home with his friend Spider. Spider loves the outdoors! When Spider’s kite flies away, Bear must venture out and into the messy forest to help his friend. As their quest in the forest goes from bad to worse, Bear and Spider show readers that being a friend means being there for each other, no matter what.

  3. A Pocket for Corduroy - This much-beloved classic is now available as a lap board book! Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today than he was when he first came on the scene nearly fifty years ago. And now, the story of a teddy bear’s overnight laundromat adventures and the girl who loves him will inspire even more readers in this new format. With unabridged text and sturdy pages, this lap board book edition is perfect for family sharing.

  4. Little Bear's Big House - This follow-up to Benjamin Chaud’s critically acclaimed The Bear’s Song and its sequels is graced with richly detailed art, immersive scenes, and an irresistibly sweet story! Little Bear is embarking on his biggest adventure yet. After discovering an empty house, his wish is granted: He can play all day and stay up as late as he wants! But he also gets a big scare. There are mysterious noises downstairs—could there be monsters . . . or ghosts?! Will Little Bear be able to brave the big house all by himself? In step with the previous books in the series, Little Bear may venture far and wide, but his loving family is never far behind!

Want to see 10 more children's books about bears and adventure?

How about children's books about adventure?

Books About Bears and Nature

Baby Bear Sees Blue book
#1
Baby Bear Sees Blue
Written and illustrated by Ashley Wolff
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book about colors! It’s so sweet, and I love that there’s a storyline, following baby bear throughout his day to see what colors he finds all around him. So sweet, and the illustrations are just as beautiful!

Explore the world of color with Baby Bear in this clever and adorable story now available as a Classic Board Book!

Baby Bear has so much to learn about the world! From the moment he wakes until it’s time to curl up and go to sleep, he explores outside with his mama. They see green leaves, blue jays, brown trout, and—best of all—a patch of yummy red strawberries.

From bestselling author-illustrator Ashley Wolff, here is a clever concept book that combines engaging and intricate linocut illustrations with a story that enthusiastically encourages children to identify a variety of vibrant colors. Young readers will delight in this chance to join Baby Bear as he discovers the colorful wonders of his lively, leafy forest home.

The Grizzly Mother book
#2
The Grizzly Mother
Written by Brett D. Huson and illustrated by Natasha Donovan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

To the Gitxsan people of northwestern British Columbia, the grizzly is an integral part of the natural landscape. They share the land and forests the Skeena River runs through, as well as the sockeye salmon within it. The Grizzly Mother explores how an ecosystem’s animals, people and seasons are all intertwined.

Explorers of the Wild book
#3
Explorers of the Wild
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Boy and Bear both love to explore the outdoors. There are so many neat things to see, and so many strange things to find. These explorers are prepared for anything . . . except each other! When Bear and Boy meet in the woods, they’re scared at first. Really scared. But soon these kings of the wild realize that no mountain is too big to conquer if you have a friend to climb it by your side.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Honey - This sweet companion to David Ezra Stein’s award-winning Leaves celebrates the joy of savoring something you love. Bear is ravenous when he wakes up from his winter sleep and has one thing on his mind: honey! Alas, it is too soon for honey, so Bear tries hard to be patient. The world around him is waking up, too, and he soon remembers all the other things he loves, like warm grass, berries, and rain. He’s almost content, until, one day, he hears a welcome buzzing sound . . . and finally it is time for Bear to delight in the thing he relishes above all others—and it is as warm, golden, sweet, and good as he remembered.

  2. 10 Reasons to Love... a Bear - Bears are incredible creatures! Did you know that they can sleep for months on end? Or that they hum when they are happy? Discover ten reasons why bears are amazing and five ways you can show they love them in this gorgeous picture book. A must for any young animal enthusiast and a fantastic introduction to environmental issues.

  3. The Adventures of Buster Bear - The Adventures of Buster Bear introduces a new generation of children to Thornton W. Burgess’s long-beloved Bedtime Stories characters. Buster Bear is new to the Green Forest and because he is so big (and his appetite is also so big), he’s having some trouble making new friends. But there are always interesting stories about meeting the new folks in the neighborhood. Is a nice fat trout a good present for a new friend? Can someone as big as Buster be afraid of Farmer Brown’s boy? How can a little tin pail cause any trouble? Children have laughed at the antics and adventures of the residents of the Green Meadows for five generations. And while laughing they’re learning something about the natural world, and maybe something about themselves. A dedicated naturalist, Burgess imbues his stories with the good humor, imagination, and fun animal antics that all children will enjoy reading during story time. These essential childhood classic stories also feature the original black-and-white illustrations by Harrison Cady, lending this edition a vintage feel.

  4. Sea Bear - Lindsay Moore’s remarkable and beautifully illustrated picture book follows a lone polar bear as she makes her way across sea ice in the Arctic. Sea Bear is a deeply moving and informative story about perseverance, family, nature, and climate change that will resonate with readers of all ages. A solitary polar bear travels across the sea ice in pursuit of food. As the ice melts and food becomes scarce, she is forced to swim for days. Finally, storm-tossed and exhausted, she finds shelter on land, where she gives birth to cubs and waits for the sea to freeze again. Informed by the author’s background in marine science, Sea Bear is a vivid and moving page-turner with a vital message about our changing planet. This is a gorgeously illustrated book, with the perfect marriage of scientific fact and poetry, that shows the reality of climate change and how it poses a threat to animals of the Arctic. Perfect for family and classroom sharing. Includes extensive backmatter about Arctic animals, climate change, and sea ice.

Want to see more children's books about nature?

Books About Bears and Sharing

Little Cub book
#1
Little Cub
Written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Little cub is such a sweet story of two lonely bears (one an old bear, one a little cub) who find each other. I love how they compliment each other and bring each other joy, and I love how Old Bear is a loving father figure who can take care of little cub. This book would also be great for adoptive parents!

A darling companion to Old Bear and His Cub from the New York Times bestselling creator of the Gossie books

What’s an Old Bear to do when he finds a Little Cub all alone and afraid of the dark? Adopt him, of course! And help him try to get over his fears. In this book we see the father and son from Old Bear and His Cub meet for the first time—and grow to love one another.

With the same bold art and humorous twist on parenting, Olivier Dunrea’s tumbling bears will melt your heart and show how strong the bond is between any father and son pair.

Praise for LITTLE CUB

*”Readers will treasure the bears’ gingerly give-and-take—watching them serendipitously become a family of two is a joy to behold.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

*”Dunrea packs a huge amount of emotion into his limited text and engaging art. A delight for fans of these characters and a lovely next step for children ready to move beyond the ‘Gossie and Friends’ series.” —School Library Journal, starred review

Will Bear Share? book
#2
Will Bear Share?
Written and illustrated by Hilary Leung
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-3

An exciting and hilarious new series all about early childhood milestones from debut US talent Hilary Leung!

One ice cream cone. One bear. One timeless question: Will Bear Share?

Meet Bear. Bear has so much to give . . . but will she share? Find out in this surprising and memorable storybook all about friendship, compromise, and of course, sharing.

A fresh and funny book in a new series of animal question stories by creative talent Hilary Leung that will keep little ones laughing . . . and sharing (when it’s appropriate!).

There's a Bear on My Chair book
#3
There's a Bear on My Chair
Written and illustrated by Ross Collins
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Poor Mouse! A bear has settled in his favorite chair, and that chair just isn’t big enough for two. Mouse tries all kinds of tactics to move pesky Bear, but nothing works. Once Mouse has gone, Bear gets up and walks home. But what’s that? Is that a mouse in Bear’s house?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Goldilocks and Just One Bear - Many years have passed since Goldilocks caused chaos at the Bears’ house in the woods, but what happens when Little Bear as was wanders out of his fairytale and into the big city where Goldilocks now lives? Awarding-winning artist and animator Leigh Hodgkinson is the creator of this funny and clever fractured fairytale based on the familiar story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Goldilocks is now grown up with a family and a rather smart apartment, so how will she react to coming home and finding that a very lost bear has been scoffing porridge, breaking chairs and sleeping in beds? Will she be cross, or is finally time to make amends?

  2. That's Not Mine - Two fuzzy creatures both want to sit in the same comfy chair. The trouble is, they can’t agree who it belongs to. They get madder and madder, until… With expressive illustrations and simple text, this giggle-inducing tale about (not) sharing and (not) being a good friend features the endearing characters from Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small.

  3. Fergus Barnaby Goes on Vacation - Family, friendship, sharing, vacations, and apartment living are just some of the things that are celebrated in this charming children’s book! Fergus Barnaby is so excited! Mom, Dad, and Fergus are about to go away on vacation for a few days of fun in the sun. But first… Dad tells him to pack everything he needs, and now Fergus has a problem. Fred has his bucket and shovel, Emily Rose has his swimming goggles, and Teddy has his kite. Fergus lives on the first floor, but his friends—and the toys he let them borrow—are all upstairs. So many stairs, so little time! Will Fergus and Daddy remember to pack everything they need to bring? (Hint: this story ends with a surprise and a big laugh!) Lots of bold illustrations and an enchanting story about friendship and life in the city will make Fergus Barnaby one of your child’s favorites.

  4. One Big Pair of Underwear - Count and share with…underwear! Come along on a zany adventure with hilarious pictures from the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. What’s one thing that two bears, three yaks, four goats, and six cats have in common? They hate to share. But look out—here comes a pack of twenty pigs ready to prove that sharing makes everything twice as fun!

Want to see more children's books about sharing?

Books About Bears and Helping Others

Bear Stays Up for Christmas book
#1
Bear Stays Up for Christmas
Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up—by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents!

How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? book
#2
How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear?
Written by Vanessa Bayer and illustrated by Rosie Butcher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

You and your friend Bear are an excellent pair. But if your friend gets sick, And can’t do all the things that you two love to do… You may wonder—how do you care for a very sick Bear? When someone dear is dealing with illness, it’s difficult to know what to do or say. The actor Vanessa Bayer experienced this firsthand when she was treated for childhood leukemia. In her first children’s book, she offers gentle, reassuring advice that people of all ages will appreciate.

Bear Has a Story to Tell book
#3
Bear Has a Story to Tell
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell… Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn’t have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Journey of the Pale Bear - A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family. The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England. Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom? Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

  2. Willa and the Bear - More than anything, Willa adores her ragdoll, Rosie, made just for her by Grandma. But one day, on a bumpy sleigh ride to Grandma’s birthday dinner, Rosie falls into the snow and disappears. Willa is inconsolable—until, mysteriously, Rosie reappears at Grandma’s door. Can Willa find a way to thank the special friend who returned her doll? This picture book will warm the heart of every child who has ever had a favorite toy.

  3. Bruce's Big Storm - Bruce’s home is already a full house. But when a big storm brings all his woodland neighbors knocking, he’ll have to open his door to a crowd of animals in need of shelter-whether he likes it or not. Readers will love this next installment of the uproarious, award-winning Mother Bruce series.

  4. Bear Needs Help - A lumbering little polar bear has one shoe untied, and he needs some help! Sadly for him, though, the other animals are all too scared of him- the lemmings, rabbits, and seals all run away as he approaches them for assistance. What’s Bear going to do? Luckily, two plucky birds are more than happy to help out and offer advice — though probably not quite in the way that readers anticipate. In this sweet and funny book about asking for help (and receiving it), expectations are flipped in a simple but clever way.

Want to see more children's books about helping others?

Books About Bears and Holidays

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving book
#1
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
Written by Jan Berenstain and illustrated by Mike Berenstain
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In The Berenstain Bears and The Joy of Giving Brother and Sister Bear can’t wait for Christmas and all the presents they’ll open. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.

Santa Bruce book
#2
Santa Bruce
Written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Bruce is a lot of things. He is a bear. He is a grump. He is a pretty decent cook. And he is a mother. One thing Bruce is not? Santa Claus. But that doesn’t stop the whole forest from lining up to give him their Christmas wishes when he becomes the victim of mistaken identity-again. Kids will howl with laughter as award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins delivers another hilarious story about this bear who just can’t catch a break.

A Christmas Wish for Corduroy book
#3
A Christmas Wish for Corduroy
Written by B. G. Hennessy and Don Freeman and illustrated by Jody Wheeler and Don Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A classic holiday story about a teddy bear loved by children for 50 years.

It’s almost Christmas and Corduroy sits on a department store shelf, wishing he could be a child’s holiday gift—but he’s a plain bear, and nobody seems to notice him. He sets out across the store to ask Santa Claus for help, but he can’t visit without wearing a special outfit! After stopping to try on hats, boots, and even baby clothes, Corduroy finally arrives at the North Pole. Can Santa help Corduroy find a new home in time for Christmas?

With warm humor and classic art, A Christmas Wish for Corduroy takes readers back to the beginning and shows how Corduroy became the beloved bear we know today. This is a heartwarming story about the power of hope, perseverance, and friendship–an important addition to any Corduroy collection, and the perfect way to celebrate Corduroy’s 50th anniversary.

Honorable Mentions
  1. A Christmas for Bear - Bear’s minimalist holiday celebration has an eager Mouse feeling a bit anxious in this humorous and heartwarming story about the unlikely, lovable pair. One frosty night, Bear hears a tap, tap, tapping on his front door. “Merry Christmas!” cries Mouse. Mouse is there for a Christmas party, and Bear has never had one before, but he’s certain that pickles (preferably from France) must be an essential component, along with the reading of a long and difficult poem. The problem is, whenever Bear comes back from the kitchen with more treats, Mouse has vanished — only to be found, small and gray and guilty-eyed, scurrying under the bed or rifling through the closet. Will there be even a tiny present involved? “Hogwash!” scolds Bear. Get ready for holiday anticipation and the best kind of surprises as the curmudgeonly Bear and a hopeful Mouse return in a warm, funny tale full of holiday cheer and true friendship.

  2. Corduroy's Christmas - A holiday story starring the classic teddy bear beloved by children for 50 years Celebrate Christmas with everyone’s favorite bear and this charming lift-the-flap book. Join in all of Corduroy’s holiday activities, from trimming the tree to baking Christmas cookies. Discover the magic of Christmas with Corduroy in this festive tale, perfect for even the youngest reader.

Want to see more children's books about holidays?

Books About Bears and Being Yourself

Bear and Duck book
#1
Bear and Duck
Written by Katy Hudson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Debut author-illustrator Katy Hudson brings to life characters Bear and Duck in this hilarious story about a bear who is fed up being a bear and wants to be a duck. Bear is sick and tired of being a bear. Who wants to sleep all winter? His fur feels so hot in the summer. And the bees . . . there are just too many angry bees! Bear is done being a bear. But when he sees a line of happy yellow ducklings, he has a thought. What if he could be a duck? With a few duck lessons from Duck, Bear learns that being a duck is fun; but as it turns out, Bear realizes he makes a really good bear . . . and he makes a really good friend along the way. Young readers will delight in the hilarious relationship between Bear and Duck.

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club book
#2
The Polar Bear Explorers' Club
Written by Alex Bell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A precocious young girl is determined to prove herself as an explorer in the first novel in the whimsical Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series. Stella Starflake Pearl knows, without a doubt, that she was born to be an adventurer. It’s too bad girls are forbidden from becoming explorers. But Stella’s father has never been one to play by the rules. Leaving behind her pet polar bear, Gruff, and beloved unicorn, Magic, Stella and Felix set off on an expedition to the snowy Icelands. There, Stella plans to prove herself as a junior explorer, worthy of membership in the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club. So when Stella and three other junior explorers are separated from the rest of their expedition, she has the perfect opportunity. Can they explore the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale? The first in Alex Bell’s imaginative new series, The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club is a fun and daring adventure filled with magic, outlaws, and fantastic faraway lands.

Delivery Bear book
#3
Delivery Bear
Written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Paco Sordo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Zogby wants to work for Fluffy Tail Cookies as a delivery animal—but he’s a bear and all the other animals are cute bunnies. Zogby tries to pretend to be a bunny by wearing bunny ears, putting on whiskers, and adding a fluffy tail. But he still scares the customers! When Zogby realizes being himself is best, can he find a way to stand out and get the job?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Elbert, the Curious Clock Tower Bear - An inquisitive bear discovers the wonders of the world around him in this utterly charming picture book that celebrates curiosity, asking questions, and being true to yourself. Unlike the other mechanical bears in the village clock tower, Elbert can’t help but notice all the marvelous things around him–snow falling in winter, fireworks in the night sky, the magnificent stag standing in the cobbled street below. But when Elbert’s growing curiosity threatens to disrupt the orderly life of the clock tower, the other bears decide Elbert must go. What’s a small bear with a big curiosity to do? Explore, of course! And maybe even find a way to spread his inquisitive spirit. Here’s the perfect book for readers young and old who believe that staying curious is more important than following the rules.

  2. Bunnybear - Although Bunnybear was born a bear, he feels more like a bunny. He prefers bouncing in the thicket to tramping in the forest, and in his heart he’s fluffy and tiny, like a rabbit, instead of burly and loud, like a bear. The other bears don’t understand him, and neither do the bunnies. Will Bunnybear ever find a friend who likes him just the way he is?

  3. Bearnard's Book - Bearnard’s Book by writer Deborah Underwood and illustrator Misa Saburi is a charming picture book about a bear who discovers that to shine in his own story, he just needs to be himself.

Want to see more children's books about being yourself?

Epilogue

18 books that are just too good to leave off of our bears list.

  1. Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears - The Book Snob Mom - I LOVE fractured fairy tales, and this is a great, modern rendition of Goldilocks with zingy illustrations, great rhymes and a musical twist!

  2. Baking Day at Grandma's - “Three bouncing little bear siblings, wrapped tight in their winter clothes, can’t wait to tromp through the snow for Baking Day at Grandma’s! In a rhyming text that begs to be sung, the bears and their grandma pour and mix and stir-with breaks for hot cocoa and dancing-to create the perfect wintry treat. Then they wrap it up in ribbons to show that sweets are even better when they’re shared. With a recipe in the back, this is a perfect family feel-good story for the fall, winter, and any holiday spent with grandparents.”

  3. Tops and Bottoms - Hare solves his family’s problems by tricking rich and lazy Bear in this funny, energetic version of an old slave story. With roots in American slave tales, Tops & Bottoms celebrates the trickster tradition of using one’s wits to overcome hardship. “As usual, Stevens’ animal characters, bold and colorful, are delightful. . . . It’s all wonderful fun, and the book opens, fittingly, from top to bottom instead of from side to side, making it perfect for story-time sharing.”—Booklist This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Stories)

  4. Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? - “I don’t like the dark,” said Little Bear. “What dark?” said Big Bear. “The dark all around us,” said Little Bear. In this tender account of a sleepless night in the bear cave, Big Bear sets out with all his patience and understanding to show Little Bear that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. When all the lanterns in the cave aren’t enough to quell Little Bear’s troubled emotions, Big Bear offers—in a final loving gesture—nothing less than the bright yellow moon and the twinkling stars! More comforting than even the best of lullabies, this bedtime story is destined to become a classic.

  1. My Pet Polar Bear - The Book Snob Mom - The illustrations in this book are so cute, light and whimsical and the silly rhyming text is entirely enjoyable to read out loud again and again. This whole series of books (one for each season I believe—this is winter) is just adorable.

  2. Let's Go Home, Little Bear - Big Bear and Little Bear are returning home from a wonderful romp through the snowy woods, when a noise startles Little Bear. Plod, plod, plod—suddenly the woods are alive with unseen Plodders and Drippers and Ploppers. Poor Little Bear is very scared. But Big Bear is beside him with comforting explanations and a piggyback ride to bring him safely home.

  3. Where Are the Bears? - The Book Snob Mom - This book has adorable illustrations and relatively sturdy lift-the-flaps, plus your munchkin can practice counting to five. The rhyming text is cute, and it’s highly re-readable.

  4. Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? - And so Jesse Bear starts his day. It isn’t really an unusual day for a little bear, but the weather is warm and sunny and just right for all the things Jesse Bear enjoys doing - like playing in his sandbox, chasing butterflies, and swinging in his swing. Lilting verse and exuberant paintings combine to make Jesse Bear’s Day a very special one indeed, in a book that even the youngest readers will want to return to again and again.

  1. Lily and Bear - A little girl imagines her best friend who comes to life one magical afternoon in this heartwarming, debut picture book from popular Etsy artist Lisa Stubbs. Lily likes nothing better than to imagine and draw the things she loves. She draws cats and birds and boats and houses, and one day she makes a very special drawing of a bear who comes to life. Lily shows Bear her favorite things, and Bear shows Lily his—because everyone knows that friends help friends see the world in a new way. That’s why Lily and Bear are forever friends!

  2. I Want My Hat Back - The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor — and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke. A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2011! A picture-book delight by a rising talent tells a cumulative tale with a mischievous twist.

  3. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear - B is for Bookworm - One of my absolute favorite children’s books growing up, and it continues to be a favorite! As a fellow strawberry lover, I love the suspense the story builds with mouse thinking the big, hungry bear is going to come after his perfectly ripe and juicy strawberry. Simple, classic tale!

  4. Little Bear (An I Can Read Book) - Celebrate the timeless warmth of a mother’s love with the very first ever I Can Read book. Meet Little Bear, a friend to millions of children. And meet Mother Bear, who is there whenever Little Bear needs her. When it is cold and snowy outside, she finds just the right outfit for Little Bear to play in. When he goes to the moon, she has a hot lunch waiting for him on his return. And, of course, she never forgets his birthday. This classic from Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak was written in 1957 and remains as beloved today as it was then. An ALA Notable Children’s Book, this Level One I Can Read is full of warm and lovingly playful stories that are perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

  1. A Bear Called Paddington - Paddington first charmed American audiences forty years ago. Now a new generation will surely be won over by Paddington’s particular brand of preposterous humor and gentle satire. The Browns first meet Paddington on a railway platform in London. He is sitting on a battered suitcase, wearing an odd-looking hat and a sign around his neck that reads, “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” And that is just what they do, unaware that home will never be the same once Paddington becomes a member of the family.

  2. Bears Are Big - Discover animal opposites in this playful board book by award-winning author Douglas Florian. Bears are big. Bees are small. Shrews are short. Giraffes are tall. In this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, little ones can meet pairs of animals and discover how they’re different! The pairs include bears/bees, shrews/giraffes, rhinos/tigers, turtles/snails, sloths/cheetahs, eels/tree frogs, hippos/butterflies, and ravens/doves.

  3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck— all parade across the pages of this delightful classic children’s book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle’s flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin’s singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.

  4. The Bear's Surprise - Hibernation is over and Little Bear is ready for another adventure! But where is Papa Bear? Never fear, Little Bear will find him! Follow the curious cub through interactive cutouts on every page of this detail-rich extravaganza: into a bustling forest, deep beneath a mysterious cave, and en route to a rollicking circus in full swing. What will Little Bear discover when he finally locates his high-flying papa? The ultimate showstopping, sweet surprise awaits in this third installment of Benjamin Chaud’s acclaimed series that includes the New York Times Notable Book The Bear’s Song and The Bear’s Sea Escape.

  1. Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas - In this Chinese American retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda’s rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year.

  2. Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh - Who could care for a bear? When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot. But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away — the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie — he could care for this bear too! Sally Walker’s heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss’s evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

Did you enjoy our bears book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional book lists you might enjoy: