65 Amazing Books for Your Child Who Loves Bears

Updated Mar. 14, 2019

Bears have got to be one of the best animals for story book characters—there's something about them that simultaneously friendly, cuddly, adventurous, curious and strong. There can be good bears and bad bears, brave bears and scared bears... and it all seems to work! In their honor, we've compiled a list of some of our very favorite books with bear characters. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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 polar bear grieves over the loss of his companion, based on the real-life Gus and Ida of New York's Central Park Zoo.

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
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!

Leaving the den as the weather warms, Baby Bear discovers blue birds, red strawberries, orange butterflies, and other colorful things in nature.

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.

Room for Bear book
#8
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
#9
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.

We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We're not scared. Ready for some fun? Come along!

Bear Is Not Tired book
#10
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.

Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears book
#11
Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears
Written by Beth Coulton, Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Nate Wragg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from 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!

Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear know how to rock! But they need a new singer, so they audition everyone—the Three Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. To their dismay, no one seems just right. Could the perfect lead singer be the mysterious girl sleeping on Baby Bear’s keyboard? This mash up of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Voice is a surefire storytime hit.

Baking Day at Grandma's book
#12
Baking Day at Grandma's
Written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Christopher Denise
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

"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."

Tops and Bottoms book
#13
Tops and Bottoms
Written and illustrated by Janet Stevens
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Hare turns his bad luck around by striking a clever deal with the rich and lazy bear down the road.

The Bear Who Stared book
#14
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.

Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? book
#15
Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?
Written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Barbara Firth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

"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.

My Pet Polar Bear book
#16
My Pet Polar Bear
Written by Mark Iacolina
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from 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.

Polar bears make the best pets! Follow a little girl and her pet polar bear as they hitch a ride to school, play in the bath, and sneak a bedtime treat! From the Board edition.

Little Cub book
#17
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 young bear cub, who is alone in the world, and Old Bear, who is grumpy and tired of living alone, meet and discover what they have been missing. By the best-selling creator of the Gossie and Gertie books.

Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? book
#18
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
Written and illustrated by Nancy White Carlstrom
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Where Are the Bears? book
#19
Where Are the Bears?
Written and illustrated by Kathy Ireland
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from 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.

Lift the flaps to see where the bears will turn up next! This charming board book encourages toddlers to count the bears on each playful page.

Let's Go Home, Little Bear book
#20
Let's Go Home, Little Bear
Written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Barbara Firth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

When Little Bear is frightened by the noises he hears while walking in the snowy woods, his friend Big Bear reassures him.

Corduroy book
#21
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.

Lily and Bear book
#22
Lily and Bear
Written and illustrated by Lisa Stubbs
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lily loves to draw, but when she draws Bear they quickly become friends, first doing all of the things that Lily enjoys, and then doing Bear's favorite things.

Bear Can't Sleep book
#23
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?

I Want My Hat Back book
#25
I Want My Hat Back
Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!