My son has a stuffed dog he absolutely adores—Rufus. Rufus is an excellent adventurer, a champion owie kisser, and an all-around faithful pal that makes any situation feel safer for my son. He comes on every trip and a couple of weeks ago when he got lost we almost had to replace him… good thing he turned up at the bottom of a bucket of train tracks just in time. Stuffed animal friends are such an integral part of many young childhoods that we thought they deserved a special list all their own, so if you’re looking for some excellent titles about stuffed animals this is the list for you!
This list contains some age-old classics you’re probably already familiar with, such as The Velveteen Rabbit; some more recent hits, like Knuffle Bunny (by Caldecott-winning author/illustrator Mo Willems); and some hidden gems you may not have heard of before, like Lionheart, that nonetheless deserve a very special place on your shelves. We’ve also covered a variety of topics on this list. To name a few, there are children’s books about lost stuffed animals (Harry and Horsie), books about bedtime companions who smooth the transition to sleep (Hop Along Boo, Time for Bed) and books about courageous friends who accompany us on adventures (Brave Enough For Two.)
Because stuffed animals can be a comfort across a wide variety of ages, this list includes board, picture and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers ages 0 to 3. Picture books are enjoyable across the entire age spectrum, but are generally geared towards children ages 2 to 6, and chapter books are recommended for readers ages 7 to 10. Feel free to filter to a single book type or browse the list in its entirety.
We’ve confined ourselves in this list to books just about stuffed animals, so if you’re looking for children’s books about dolls or some gems in children’s literature about toys in general, check out our list of the best children’s books about toys: https://bookroo.com/books/topics/toys.
The eternal words of The Skin Horse sum up the depths of feelings these stuffed animals friends can elicit from the young and young at heart: “Real isn’t how you are made… It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” Without further ado, jump right in and discover some new favorites!
Corduroy - 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.
Bear in the Air - -
Ollie's Odyssey - From the creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and The Guardians of Childhood comes a grand adventure of valor, friendship, and a look into the mysterious world of favorite toys. In the secret realm of toys, there are many mysteries. There is the Code of the Toys, which is as ancient as childhood. There’s also the magic of becoming a child’s favorite, the highest honor in the Toy World. Made by hand by Billy’s mother, Ollie is a special toy, “a toy who will matter.” He becomes Billy’s best friend, confidant, pal, and yes, Billy’s “favorite.” But there are villains in the Toy World, and Zozo, the clown king, is the most feared. He and his toy henchman (the Creeps) have sworn to steal and imprison favorite toys until they forget their children and become forever lost. When Ollie is toynapped, Billy must rescue his beloved favorite from Zozo’s subterranean lair in the old Carnival Place, past the park, through the woods, and into the night. Never has a journey of ten blocks been more epic.
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Tell Me About Your Day Today - A boy and his favorite stuffed animals share their days with one another in this cozy bedtime picture book from Mem Fox.
There was once a boy who loved bedtime.
What could be more wonderful than sharing bedtime with beloved friends? The little boy in this gentle and fun story loves to talk to his stuffed animals each evening and share with them all the things that happened to him that day—and to hear about their days, too.
From bestselling author Mem Fox and award-winning illustrator Lauren Stinger, here is a celebration of imagination, play, friendship, and coziness certain to touch a chord with young children everywhere.
Bunny Boo Has Lost Her Teddy - It’s bedtime for Bunny Boo. But where is her teddy? Is he on the bookselves? No,that’s Hippo! Perhaps he’s in the laundry room? No, that’s Dog and Frog. A delightful peekaboo book with chunky tabs for little hands to push and pull.
Elmer and the Lost Teddy - One night, Elmer hears Baby Elephant crying because he has lost his teddy. Elmer offers to lend Baby Elephant his teddy for the night and to search for the lost teddy the next day. Will their search be successful?
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Knuffle Bunny - Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind? Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy’s in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.
Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! - 6½ stories about 2 surprising friends. Having a stuffed alligator for a best friend can be surprising. Sometimes Amanda surprises her alligator with books. Sometimes Alligator surprises Amanda by eating them. But what happens when Amanda brings home a special—and not entirely welcome—surprise? The result might be unexpected indeed. Beloved author-illustrator Mo Willems has created a funny and tender portrait of friendship that readers of any age will love.
Little Fox in the Forest - Fans of Aaron Becker’s Caldecott Honor winner Journey will love this utterly enchanting wordless picture book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world. When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him? Stephanie Graegin’s oh-so-charming illustrations are simply irresistible, and readers young and old will want to pore over the pages of this delightful fantasy adventure again and again.
Dragon Meets Boy - Michael Slack’s Dragon Meets Boy is a moving friendship story about the universal joys and tender heartaches of growing up, for fans of Toy Story. One summer day a boy meets a dragon. They become instant friends and share incredible adventures together. When Boy is sad, Dragon cheers him up. When Boy is scared, Dragon makes him feel brave. But, in time, things start to change. Boy gets bigger, while Dragon stays the same. Dragon seems so lonely, until the circle continues with a new generation with Boy’s daughter! This deftly poignant story captures the lifelong friendship between a child and a beloved toy. Christy Ottaviano Books
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The Best Kind of Bear - When Nelly asks Bear what kind of bear he is, he isn’t entirely sure how to answer. So off he goes to find out. But none of the different bears he meets on his travels are like him. Grizzly bears don’t have stitching; polar bears don’t have tags attached to their bottoms; spectacled bears are not as soft and bouncy as Bear is; and sun bears never wear bow ties. Disheartened, he returns to Nelly . . . only to discover what kind of bear he is — her own special bear!
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.
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.
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
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Turtle and Me - This charming story details the beautiful friendship between a boy and his plush toy turtle. Turtle and Me is a charming story about the adventures a little boy has with his cuddly toy turtle. Over the years, Turtle gets covered in spaghetti, splattered by mud, chewed by a puppy, and much more—but the boy still loves him. Turtle has become his security blanket, as well as his best friend. But one day Turtle suffers a horrible rip that the boy can’t repair. The boy decides he doesn’t need his old chewed up, sewn up, taped up, ripped up ragggedy turtle anymore. But when he tries to sleep at night, he begins to think otherwise!
Sam and Jump - Sam and his stuffed bunny, Jump, are best friends, and they do everything together. One day, on a trip to the beach, Sam meets Thomas. Sam and Thomas play together all day and promise to do the same the next day. But when Sam gets home he realizes Jump is still at the beach! It’s too late and too dark to go find him, and Sam worries all night. What if Jump is nowhere to be found? Can Sam brave the world without his best friend? Little ones with their own cherished toys will be drawn to this reassuring story about losing something dear only to gain something even better.
Doggie Gets Scared - Shadows, strangers, thunder and lightning! Sometimes a toy doggie gets scared. Don’t worry, Doggie, Baby is here. Baby’s toy doggie is scared of many things: shadows, swimming pools, strangers, loud noises. Boom! Good thing Baby is there to help, with a trusty blankie (which sometimes works). Baby also comforts Doggie at daycare and at the playground when Mommy steps out of their sight. But when Doggie himself goes missing, could that be too scary even for brave Baby? Leslie Patricelli gives a fearless new spin to a universal toddler experience—and offers a few suggestions for things that can help the scary go away.
Tiny T. Rex and the Very Dark Dark - The adorable and indomitable Tiny T. Rex from the critically acclaimed Tiny T. Rex and The Impossible Hug is back in a tale about friendship and overcoming your fears. Tiny T. Rex and his friend Pointy are having a campout in the backyard! It is what best friends do. But without their nighty-lights, the dark outside suddenly seems VERY dark . . . and very full of spooky things. Good thing Tiny has a super-secret plan to keep the dark at bay! Full of warmth and plenty of laughs, this new adventure starring Tiny T. Rex shows that friends will always find a way to face their fears together—even when those fears are not what they seem! • A great read-aloud book for parents and children • Hip, colorful art and delightful text make Tiny T. Rex an instant favorite of any dinosaur-loving toddler. • A perfect book to help toddlers and children overcome a fear of the dark Fans of silly picture books like Dinosaur vs Bedtime, We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, and Llama Destroys the World will love the sweet spirit and continuing adventures of Tiny T. Rex.
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Loved to Bits - Ted and his boy do everything together.They fight beasts and have feasts.They tickle monsters then flee on rafts, They search, explore, escape. . . . and laugh.But sometimes things get rough, and Teddy loses an ear.He’s still got his best one though, never fear! And an eye? PING!It’s nothing-he didn’t feel a thing!A leg, then the other. An arm, and then the next.What do you do with a broken Ted?You lay down with him at night and snuggle in bed.
Henry & Leo - Leo isn t just a stuffed toy, he is Henry s best friend and brother. He is as real as a tree, a cloud, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the wind. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry sfamily believes Leo is real enough to find his way home. With beautiful mixed-media paintings, the Caldecott Honor winning artist Pamela Zagarenski explores the transcendent nature of friendship and love.”
Never Ever - Nothing ever happens to me. Never, ever. Ever, never. Nothing. Or does it? Jo Empson’s debut picture book Rabbityness was published to universal acclaim in Spring 2012. Never Ever displays her inimitable sense of fun, her love of storytelling and surprise, and her delight in the magical world of the imagination.
Mimi and Bear in the Snow - Every day is more fun with a best friend by your side. Wherever Mimi goes, Bear is sure to be there. But what happens when Mimi can’t find Bear? Find out in this adorable board book that is sure to bring a big smile to anyone who has ever lost a beloved toy.
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Merry Christmas, Corduroy! - Celebrate Christmas with Corduroy in this festive board book! Corduroy is excited to celebrate Christmas! To get ready, he decorates his tree, bakes cookies, and wraps presents. When the snow starts falling on Christmas Eve, Corduroy hangs up his stocking and leaves a note for Santa. Merry Christmas, Corduroy!
The Teddy Bear Book - From the author and illustrator team who brought us the best-selling The Tea Party Book, here’s a charming collection of teddy bear-inspired crafts and activities. This warm fuzzy of a book, is bursting at the seams with sensational yet simple ideas for making teddy bears, growing a teddy bear garden, throwing a teddy bear party, and designing teddy bear t-shirts and jewelry. An enchanting gift book for children of all ages.
Where Is Bear? - Perfect for fans of the classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, this adventurous and endearing picture book follows a little boy searching high and low for his missing bear. Features a surprise ending! Where is Bear? Is Bear in the dresser? Is Bear in the bathroom? Is Bear on the swing? It’s almost bedtime, and a little boy can’t seem to find his beloved Bear! Children will love joining in the irresistible search for Bear and finding where he is on every page . . . and they will love the surprise ending even more! Praise for Where is Bear! “Giggle-inducing clues make this book an interactive reading delight . . . Reminiscent of a Mo Willems story.” - School Library Journal “An inventive twist on the familiar lost-teddy story.” - Kirkus Reviews
A Christmas Wish for Corduroy - 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.
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