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.
Bruce the bear likes to keep to himself. That, and eat eggs. But when his hard-boiled goose eggs turn out to be real, live goslings, he starts to lose his appetite. And even worse, the goslings are convinced he’s their mother. Bruce tries to get the geese to go south, but he can’t seem to rid himself of his new companions. What’s a bear to do?
The creator of the “New York Times”-bestselling “The Bear Ate Your Sandwich” delivers another sly story of a hungry bear and a smooth-talking narrator: a tough gumshoe of a cat named Muffin. Full color.
Little Bear wants to play, but Big Bear needs to gather wood, fetch water, and tidy the Bear Cave. So Little Bear patiently plays he bear games all by himself. But when Big Bear takes. a break, instead of playing with Little Bear, he falls asleep! What will Little Bear do now? Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth, the masterful creators of Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? and Let’s Go Home, Little Bear, tell another classic tale that rings with familiar feelings for children as it offers parents a gentle reminder to make time to play.
A park ranger and a bear face off in a battle of signs as they each try to get treats from visiting campers.
It’s time for Bear to hibernate, but he just can’t get to sleep because his cave is crowded with all of his friends. Raccoon snores, Beaver fidgets, and Skunk doesn’t exactly smell too good. So Bear gets a great idea and reserves a room at the Hibernation Hotel. This is the life! he exclaims, eating all the snacks he wants and bouncing up and down on the bed. But for some reason, at bedtime, he still can’t sleep. Could something be missing?
Hotel Bruce - When Bruce gets home from a southern migration trip with his goslings, he is tired. He is grumpy. And he is definitely not in the mood to share his home with the trio of mice who have turned his den into a hotel. There’s a possum pillow fight wreaking havoc in one room, a fox luring guests into a stew in the kitchen, and a snuggly crew of critters hogging the bed. Bruce growls and grumbles and tries to throw them all out, but the entrepreneurial mice just can’t take a hint. Bruce is in a little over his head, especially once the goslings join the staff. Will this grumpy bear ever get his quiet, peaceful den back to himself? Praise for Mother Bruce “[W]ry text and marvelously detailed pictures juxtapose uproariously. . .Visually beautiful, clever, edgy, and very funny.” -Kirkus, starred review “Ryan T. Higgins’s illustrations are extraordinary. . . . [A] hilarious, artful picture book with a nod to foodies great and small” –Shelf Awareness, starred review Kids Indie Next List, Top Ten
Soaked! - A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a rabbit in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear. It looks like a wet and dreary day for Bear and his trio of friends. How could he possibly have fun when he is soaked? But Badger, Rabbit, and Moose don’t seem to mind. In fact, Moose can still hula hoop! And it looks like so much fun. Might Bear like to try? Here is a story that shows that fun is not dependent on sunshine and blue skies. In fact, it might be more fun to be soaked!
Grandpa and Jake - In this heartwarming intergenerational story, Grandpa Bear introduces his grandson Jake to a very special place–the library! Let’s turn the TV off, says Grandpa to Jake. There’s some place I’d like to show you… a place my Grandpa took me when I was your age. As the two of them walk through the busy town, Grandpa shares the favorite places he and his own grandpa went together . . . and Little Jake keeps guessing where they are going. The movies? The baseball park? The beach? Not this time, says Grandpa, and has Jake close his eyes before going into . . . the library!
Wild About Bears - This comprehensive look at the world’s eight bear species focuses first on common physical traits and behaviors before profiling each bear. Discover the habits and habitats of the polar bear, brown bear, American black bear, spectacled bear, Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, sun bear, and giant panda and marvel at the adaptations each has developed to survive in a challenging world.
First published in 1984, a picture book in which the Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader. The Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear are known and loved by millions of children around the world. Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does the bear…How will Little Mouse stop the bear from eating his freshly picked, red, ripe strawberry.
Penguin and Panda decide it’s time for a new sofa–but they are overwhelmed by the options. Will they find what they’re looking for? When Penguin and Panda decide their tired sofa is in need of replacement, they set out to find the perfect one. But none of the options are quite right and no sofa can seem to match the comfort of the one they already have. Is what they’re looking for closer than they think?
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?
Bestselling and award-winning artist Patrick McDonnell uses the ABC’s to tell a hilarious, high-energy alphabetical adventure. It starts with an ALLIGATOR and a BEAR chasing a CAT. When a DRAGON (and a chicken and an egg!) join in pursuit, things start to get REALLY interesting. A wild and wacky chase through snow and ice, and to jungles and over mountaintops, leads the whole crew to a wonderful realization: They’re better off as friends. From New York Times bestselling author and Caldecott Honor recipient Patrick McDonnell comes an exciting new take on the alphabet book for everyone who has ever wondered what’s just beyond the front door.
Ben Bear and Chris Croc are opening a restaurant that serves mouth-watering pizzas and luscious desserts. But their very first customers, an old woman and her grandson, order just one small, inexpensive pizza. Suddenly, Ben and Chris have an idea. They pretend this young man is really their 100th customer of the day!
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.
Going - Let’s get going! Join one truly charming little bear who’s going everywhere! To school, to space, or to sleep, this bear’s always on the go.This sweet, humorous, and rhythmic read-aloud with adorable artwork is sure to appeal to the littlest board book reader who is just learning what it is to be on the go.Going and its companion book Sitting make the perfect bold and colorful board book collection for little ones on the move. For fans of classics like Miffy and Little One, and authors like Byron Barton and Donald Crews.Going fast. Going slow. Going to the beach. Going to a birthday party. Going to sleep.”Energy, humor, and flawless design… Definitely worth getting.” -Kirkus Reviews (starred review) for Sitting
You Are My Happy - A #1 New York Times bestseller and Amazon Best Books of the Year selection!From Hoda Kotb, the Today show co-anchor and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I’ve Loved You Since Forever, comes a bedtime snuggling book about gratitude for the things in life–both big and small–that bring us happiness.As mama bear and her cub cuddle together before closing their eyes for a good night’s sleep, they reflect on the everyday wonders of life that make them happy.Inspired by her own nighttime routine with her daughters, Haley Joy and Hope Catherine, Kotb creates another beautiful treasure for parents and children to enjoy together. With charming and lush illustrations from bestselling artist Suzie Mason, this soothing yet playful lullaby explores the simple joy of taking a moment to be grateful.Makes a lovely gift for baby showers, Mother’s Day, and more.
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.
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.
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.
Beatrice &amp;amp; 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.
Meet Lola Dutch, a delightfully creative girl who is bursting with grand ideas. From the best ways to serve breakfast – an elegant feast! – to the ideal sleeping spot – a majestic blanket fort, of course! – Lola is inspired all day long. Her dear companion Bear sometimes says she is just too much, but Lola is rich with imagination and originality, which even Bear will agree is AMAZING.The unstoppable Lola Dutch is about to show you how to make every day grand and full of fun. You’ll love her so much! Inspired by their own four gorgeously feisty children, Sarah Jane and Kenneth Wright are thrilled to introduce the unstoppable Lola Dutch and her fresh, fun, commercial, character-driven series.
Bear of My Heart - There are so many bears in the world dear, but there’s no other one that will do. You are the bear of my heart, dear, and I am the one who lives you. Every mother makes promises to share the joys and wonders of the world with her children and Mother Bear is no exception. As Mother Bear introduces her child to the hills, lakes, caves and starry nights, she reminds Baby that no matter what, he will always remain the bear of her heart and she will always be there for him. With Joanne Ryder’s heartfelt lyrical text and adorable illustrations by Margie Moore, this beautiful hardcover is now available in board book and is perfect book for sharing on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or any day of the year!
Winter Lullaby - Rendered with reassuring words and pastoral scenes, this soothing lullaby of a story is sure to settle even the most restless of cubs. Mouse is rushing to her nest.In soft, dry grasses she will rest. Geese are calling, a chilly wind is blowing, and the sky is turning gray. Winter is on its way. For Mama Bear and Small Bear, that means it’s time to tuck into their den for a long sleep. But Mouse is scurrying by, and Chipmunk is still gathering nuts beside the lake. And look at Hare and Skunk, still romping through the leaves! Why can’t Small Bear stay up, too? To each question, Mama Bear responds with the coziest of answers, finally painting a dreamy picture of the brightening colors and new adventures that will greet Small Bear in the spring. But first comes sleep, in this irresistible invitation to drowsy little cubs everywhere.
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.
Xander’s plan to host a panda party falls through, since he is the only panda at the zoo, but when he extends the invitation to all the bears, complications ensue. Includes an author’s note about the international effort to save pandas from extinction.
New York Times bestselling author Eliot Schrefer introduces a delightful and dynamic animal duo in a race against time to save a polar bear cub in the first book of this hilarious and heartwarming middle grade series about friendship and conservation. When an animal is in trouble, there’s only one place to turn: the Animal Rescue Agency! Dashing Esquire Fox used to organize the world’s most elaborate chicken raids until the day she encountered Mr. Pepper. Meeting the blustery old rooster changed her heart, convincing her to turn from a life of crime and instead form the Animal Rescue Agency, which masterminds rescue operations across the globe.Esquire and her unlikely chicken business manager coordinate their far-flung agents to get them to the Arctic. In that frozen land they learn that what happened to the polar bear cub was no accident–and that saving him will pit them against the scariest predator in the world: a human.
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.
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.
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 - -
The Berenstain Bears: Hospital Friends - The Berenstain Bears take a trip to the hospital and get a special tour! While Brother and Sister Bear see all the amazing things that happen in the hospital, they make new friends along the way! Young readers will learn about doctors, nurses, patients, and more in this fun and informative 8x8 storybook.
Bear in the Air - Lost by the child who loves him, a devoted teddy bear begins an amazing seaside journey home that involves an ocean swim, a flight with seagulls and a sailor’s assistance. By the award-winning author of Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!
Where's Bear? - Two animal friends play a game of hide and seek in this third picture book in a charming series from Emily Gravett. Bear and Hare are playing hide and seek! Hare counts to ten. Bear hides, but Hare finds him quickly. Again. And then again! But when Bear counts–1…2…3 all the way to 10–Hare hides. Will Bear find Hare? Will Hare find Bear? Told and illustrated with Emily Gravett’s characteristic flair, this picture book for young readers is the perfect companion for friends of all sorts.
When Lily discovers a bear in her garden, she mistakenly thinks it is a dog and wants to keep it for her pet.
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.
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.
Mommy and Daddy Bear convince three worried cubs that there’s plenty of love to go around in this comforting tale from the incomparable team of Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram.
Every night, while tucking in their three cubs, Mommy and Daddy Bear tell them they’re the most wonderful baby bears in the whole wide world. But one day the three little bears start to wonder: How do Mommy and Daddy know this is true? And even more worrisome to each sibling: What if my parents like my brother or sister better than me? From the team who brought us the beloved Big and Little Nutbrown Hare comes a tale that answers a timeless question with the ultimate reassurance — and offers the perfect way for parents to remind their own little cubs how very much each one is loved.
Harvey doesn’t know what to get his father for Father’s Day. It’s especially hard when his older sisters and brother seem so sure that their presents are his favorites. Laurie Ann gives him a tie–every year! And Martin always gives him a box of nails. Nadine says Dad loves golf balls. How do they know he likes these presents so much? Because every year Dad gives them each a hug and says, “Thank you.” And they say, “You’re welcome. “The night before Father’s Day, Harvey remembers all of the nice things his dad helped him with that week. He picks up a crayon and starts to draw. And when Harvey gives his dad his present, it’s Harvey who has said, “Thank you.” And it’s his Dad who responds, “You’re welcome.”
Bear Is Not Tired - 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.
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.
No Place Like Home - A hilarious story about finding your place in the world George is a bit of a grump. He doesn’t like ice cream, his tiny house, or the crowded city he lives in. Perhaps he would be happier if he could find a place that truly feels like home. And so George decides to go exploring… Young children will delight in this fun, inviting story about discovering where you really belong.
The Bear, the Piano, the Dog, and the Fiddle - In this charming, gorgeously illustrated follow-up to the award-winning The Bear and the Piano, a fiddle-playing dog and his human pal share the joy of music, and discover that, even through sad times and far-apart times, good friendship lasts forever. Fiddle-playing Hector and his dog, Hugo, are best friends. Hugo is Hector’s biggest fan, and when Hector decides to retire, Hugo secretly learns to play the fiddle himself. Soon, a famous piano-playing bear invites him to join his all-animal band and travel the world to perform in front of huge crowds–an opportunity that Hector had always dreamed of for himself. Will Hector be able to overcome his jealousy and learn to be happy for his friend? This heartfelt tale reminds us that there are many different kinds of success, and it celebrates the joy and healing powers of music and friendship.
Thomas wants to build the biggest and best snowman ever. Since he can’t do it alone, he’ll need a helping hand—or a paw. But little bears love to hibernate. How do you wake up a snoozing bear? By tickling it? Singing to it? Maybe making its favorite snack?
How to Build a Snow Bear is a story about two siblings sharing a wondrous wintry day.
It’s Christmas morning, and Santa has left the Berenstain Bears a special gift—a nutcracker! At first the cubs are more interested in their new video game, electronic toy, and Bearbie movie. But when they put the presents away and put their imaginations to use, the fun really starts. Join the Bears as they act out their own version of The Nutcracker!
Squirrel is super excited: he’s been invited to Big Bear’s birthday party! Now he just has to find the perfect present for his friend—but what can you give a bear who already has EVERYTHING? Squirrel searches and searches and chooses . . . a stick! As Bear unwraps his stack of gifts Squirrel begins to worry: is it enough? But with a little imagination, and a good friend, even the simplest stick can become magical. This funny, heartwarming story of friendship is a great gift—and not just for bears!
A rockin’ twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears
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.
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.
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