The best picture books about bears, buddies, and writing. Oh my!

Who am I?

I once spotted a mama black bear and her cubs on a camping trip in Manitoba, Canada. I kept a safe distance watching in awe as the cubs climbed trees. I’ve been fascinated with bears ever since. Most of the books I publish center around strong themes of family, friendship, making a difference in the world, and many have a bear as a secondary character. I think there’s always room for more bear stories in the world, don’t you?

I wrote...

Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies

By Carmen Oliver, Jean Claude (illustrator),

Book cover of Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies

What is my book about?

I wanted to write a book that showcased the fun and freedom of writing stories only you can tell. There’s nothing you can’t say when it comes from your heart. Because your voice is your voice—no two are the same. In this book, Adelaide and Bear love writing but Theo does not. Thankfully Adelaide and Bear are ready to team up and convince the entire class, including Mrs. Fitz-Pea, why bears make the best writing buddies? After all, who better to teach you how to fish and forage for new ideas than a bear? If you like this book check out the other books in the Bears Make the Best…series.

The books I picked & why

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Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

By Lindsay Mattick, Sophie Blackall (illustrator),

Book cover of Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

Why this book?

This story is based upon a man, Harry Colebourn, who lived in my hometown of Winnipeg, Canada who rescued a baby bear and named her Winnie after Winnipeg. Funny story, I was actually researching Harry Colebourn and the real bear that inspired the character Winnie-the-Pooh when Colebourn’s great-granddaughter Lindsey Mattick came out with her book Finding Winnie. After reading Lindsay’s story, I knew that it was remarkable and anything I wrote would pale in comparison. So if you like friendship stories, like me, and want to understand the history of how the fictional character Winnie-the-Pooh was inspired by the real bear Winnie—then this book is for you! It’s an inspirational journey from the prairies of Canada to the London Zoo in England.

S Is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet

By Esther Hershenhorn, Zachary Pullen (illustrator),

Book cover of S Is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet

Why this book?

Like my book, this book is filled with tips and terms from A to Z to connect readers to the writerly process and life. There are inspiring quotes sprinkled throughout and the illustrations by Pullen are bright and vivid. It’s the perfect backdrop to the beautiful poetry and prose written by author Hershenhorn. 

H is for Hero and Heroine, 

   their journey grand tales to be told,

      of beaten foes, 

         and bested woes,

            of triumps, alas, to behold.

I return to this book time and time again for inspiration and to spark my imagination.

Noodle & Lou

By Liz Garton Scanlon, Arthur Howard (illustrator),

Book cover of Noodle & Lou

Why this book?

I adore friendships stories that showcase buddies who have each other’s back and who are the cheerleaders in our life. Noodles and Lou, told in rollicking rhyme, is that kind of story. In the opening pages of the book, we understand Noodle is having an off-putting start to his day.

Some days don’t go well, right from the start

Noodle woke up with a rain-cloudy heart.

But before the story ends, Noodle is cheered up by his best buddy and sees his many wonderful strengths through his friend’s eyes.


By Salina Yoon,

Book cover of Found

Why this book?

It’s a tender story about the length a friend will go to make sure that their new found friend is taken care of and loved. It’s a book that celebrates love and friendship and it’s one of those books you’ll return to and want to read again and again. It’s a perfect storytime or bedtime book!

A Visitor for Bear

By Bonny Becker, Kady MacDonald Denton (illustrator),

Book cover of A Visitor for Bear

Why this book?

Before I was a published author, I had a critique with author Bonny Becker on one of my works-in-progress. She’s a generous writer who knows a lot about creating characters readers truly care about. I love her comedic writing style and this is one of my favorite books. I love the persistence of Mouse in winning over curmudgeonly Bear in this unlikely tale of friendship. If you like this book, check out the other adventures in the series.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in bears, friendships, and toys?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about bears, friendships, and toys.

Bears Explore 42 books about bears
Friendships Explore 327 books about friendships
Toys Explore 20 books about toys

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Bear and the Piano, Little Bear's Friend, and Something's Wrong! if you like this list.