10 books like Bear Came Along

By Richard T. Morris, LeUyen Pham (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Bear Came Along. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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You Will Be My Friend!

By Peter Brown,

Book cover of You Will Be My Friend!

Lucy Bear is determined to make a friend, but it turns out to be a harder task than she anticipated. Her efforts startle, bother, annoy, and anger the other forest animals. She’s ready to give up but in the end, she finds a perfect friend—perfect for her, that is, and isn’t that what really matters? I adore Peter Brown’s colorful, jocular illustrations and the way the answer to Lucy’s desire is presented not in the text, but in the art. For a bonus friendship lesson, check out Brown’s bio on the dust jacket.

You Will Be My Friend!

By Peter Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Will Be My Friend! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today is the day the exuberant Lucy is going to make a new friend! But she finds it's harder than she had thought--she accidentally ruins the giraffe's breakfast and is much too big for the frogs' pond. Just when she's about to give up, an unexpected friend finds her, and loves her just the way she is.

This heartwarming story offers a unique and humor-filled spin on the all-important themes of persistence and friendship.


The Love Letter

By Anika Aldamuy Denise, Lucy Ruth Cummins (illustrator),

Book cover of The Love Letter

A misunderstanding about the intended recipient of a love letter first brings Hedgehog, Bunny, and Squirrel great joy, but then threatens their friendship. In the end, Mouse helps them remember why they love each other. The final illustration even suggests that Mouse is joining their circle, since after all, love is unlimited. The Love Letter struck me first as a writer, because I recognized a unique story premise; and then I realized how much tenderness underlies both the text and the illustration.

The Love Letter

By Anika Aldamuy Denise, Lucy Ruth Cummins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Love Letter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* An Indie Next List Pick *

"Appealing illustrations combine with a timely message that one kind act can start a chain reaction of kindness. A sweet and far-from-cloying ode to love." -Kirkus

Fall in love with this endearing and adorable picture book that illustrates how a little bit of heart goes a long way to making the world a better place.

Hedgehog, Bunny, and Squirrel are best friends. One day, they each find a letter. But not just any letter...

A love letter.

My word!

My whiskers!

Aww, nuts!

Someone loves them. But who? The answer may surprise you!…


The Adventures of Beekle

By Dan Santat,

Book cover of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

An unnamed imaginary friend waits and waits for a child to choose him; but when he has waited long enough, he sets out on an adventure into the real world to find his Alice. The sweetness of Alice and Beekle’s new friendship is heartwarming, made all the sweeter by the wait. Beekle won the Caldecott Medal, so it won’t surprise you that the illustrations are brilliant. Santat’s use of shadow and color is just mesmerizing.

The Adventures of Beekle

By Dan Santat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Adventures of Beekle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle. New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat combines classic storytelling with breathtaking art, creating an unforgettable tale about friendship, imagination, and the courage to find one's place in the world.


Little Brown

By Marla Frazee,

Book cover of Little Brown

Little Brown is not the type of book on friendship I originally intended to include. The main character is sad and friendless, and that doesn’t really change by the end of the book. But it raises deeply moving questions about the nature of relationships and connection. For older picture book age children beginning to confront bullying and misunderstanding in school settings, it may lead to thought-provoking and important questions.

Little Brown

By Marla Frazee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Brown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An open-ended story that creates a great starting point for meaningful discussion with young children about bullying and inclusion.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

A grumpy and lonely little dog at the animal shelter decides to take matters into his own paws in this though-provoking and sublime picture book from the award-winning author and illustrator of The Boss Baby!

Little Brown is one cranky canine because no one ever plays with him at the animal shelter. Or maybe no one ever plays with him because he is cranky. Either way, Little Brown decides today is the day to take action,…


The Ranger

By Nancy Vo,

Book cover of The Ranger

The Ranger is the second book in the artistically rendered Crow Stories series by Nancy Vo. The animal friend in this book is a mysterious fox. When a young ranger, Annie, rescues a fox they begin an uneasy journey together. When Annie in turn needs help, she has to confront the meaning of friendship. The art in The Ranger has a look all its own incorporating watercolour and collage in a way that gives just the right mood to pair with the text. Readers will be drawn to the fox’s strong, captivating presence, and the beautiful, muted landscapes provide the perfect setting. In addition to the memorable illustrations, this book offers lots to discuss around reciprocity and friendship. There is also some mystery - is there more to the fox than meets the eye?

The Ranger

By Nancy Vo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ranger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this memorable and beautifully illustrated story, a ranger comes across a fox caught in a trap. The ranger frees the fox and promises only to tend to its wounds. The fox recovers and remains curiously close to the ranger, and when unexpected twists occur, the fox ends up being the helper. The ranger asks the fox, "Does this make us even?" and almost immediately feels regret - keeping score has no place in friendship. And so the two continue their journey together.

In this second book in the Crow Stories trilogy, Nancy Vo explores themes of friendship and how…


Sunrise Dance

By Serena Gingold Allen, Teagan White (illustrator),

Book cover of Sunrise Dance

A companion book to Moonlight Prance, this interactive lift-the-flap book will entertain young readers as they read along during a sunrise dance in a meadow, and all the animals that come and join the fun. Kids will love making the animals dance along by moving the flaps, plus it’s short enough for when you need that super quick read before a late bedtime.

Sunrise Dance

By Serena Gingold Allen, Teagan White (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sunrise Dance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Make salmon splash and bear cubs bustle with each push of a durable novelty element in this sweet and interactive morning read-aloud.

When you wake up in the morning, playful animals are starting their day! Push and pull the sturdy tabs to make dragonflies dance and bear cubs bustle in this sweet, interactive tale of morning-time fun.

A charming and interactive bedtime read-aloud, young children will delight in moving the durable novelty elements, making the illustrations transform through their efforts.

FOR FANS OF BARNYARD DANCE!: With rollicking rhyme and dancing animals, this book is perfect for anyone who loves Sandra…


Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

By Joyce Sidman, Rick Allen (illustrator),

Book cover of Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

If you wonder why Joyce Sidman is considered one of the preeminent children’s poets of our time, this Newbury Award-winning book should be all you need. From bats and crickets to moths and salamanders – and yes, even the Dark Emperor himself, the great horned owl – Joyce utilizes powerful imagery, delicate wordplay, and a poet’s insight to bring these mysterious creatures out of the dark and into our homes.

From formal rhyme structures to free verse, Joyce combines magnificent poetry with nonfiction sidebars to create a perfect book that enlightens, enthralls, and educates.

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

By Joyce Sidman, Rick Allen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed author Joyce Sidman has received multiple awards for her books of poetry, including a Caldecott Honor for Red Sings from Treetops. Itself a Newbery Honor, Book, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night features several spellbinding poems about "the feast of sound and spark" that awakens with the raccoons, snails, owls, and crickets each night after sunset.


Journey Beyond the Burrow

By Rina Heisel,

Book cover of Journey Beyond the Burrow

Do not be fooled by the cuddly creatures on the beautiful cover! This book is full of harrowing adventure, creepy tension, and frightening woodland creatures like giant spiders and deadly snakes. At least, as seen from the perspective of our main character, Tobin the mouse. Tobin’s quest is full of heart, for he has taken it upon himself to save his younger brother from the clutches of the invading spiders who stole him to a faraway lair. Their adventure reminded me of Secret of Nimh or The Lord of the Rings in that we follow a reluctant hero who rises to the occasion and shows their true self over the course of a challenging adventure. This is a terrific middle grade action-adventure story bulging with heart.

Journey Beyond the Burrow

By Rina Heisel,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Journey Beyond the Burrow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD GOLD STANDARD SELECTION!

With the adventure of Avi’s Poppy series and the heart of A Wolf Called Wander, this charming and exciting middle grade adventure follows one mouse’s journey to save his baby brother from a sinister evil.

There are rules every mouse must follow if they’re to survive in the forest.

Tobin knows these guidelines by heart. After all, with one younger sibling, another on the way, and a best friend with a penchant for trouble-making, he needs to be prepared for anything.

But one stormy night, Tobin’s safe burrow is invaded by monstrous arachnids,…


I Don't Like Rain!

By Sarah Dillard,

Book cover of I Don't Like Rain!

I love this book. It brings back so many memories of growing up in the country for me. The illustrations in this book are very expressive and literally speak for themselves, no words necessary.

The day starts out pretty nice for a young bunny who is trying to get a game of kickball started.

He calls out to his neighboring animal friends to come out of their homes and play. They all step outside. There is the hedgehog, the skunk, the fox, the raccoon, and many more. All of a sudden, clouds roll in and everyone goes home except the bunny. He loves rain. This is a big book full of fun. I really enjoyed this book. For me, it's all about the illustrations. I do not like the rain. Getting caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella is no fun. But, this book reminded me of a time in…

I Don't Like Rain!

By Sarah Dillard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Don't Like Rain! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A little rabbit discovers the delight in a dreary rainy day in this splashing sequel to the witty and whimsical picture book, I Wish it Would Snow.

One sunny day, Rabbit and his pals are playing outside and they couldn't be happier. But, oh, no!-the sky starts clouding up and before they know it, it's raining, it's pouring, and everyone has to run home. How boring! What will they do for the rest of the day?

It doesn't take long for Rabbit to realize that fun can be had in the rain. With raincoats, boots, and umbrellas, let the splashing…


Porcupine Cupid

By Jason June, Lori Richmond (illustrator),

Book cover of Porcupine Cupid

Porcupine’s clueless optimism and the adorably expressive illustrations by Lori Richmond are what draw me into this fun book. Porcupine is excited to make some love matches on Valentine’s Day by using his quills like cupid’s arrows. But what he doesn’t realize is that his pokes are making everybody mad instead! With a forest full of angry animals on his hands, Porcupine calls a meeting that ends up bringing the friends together with love after all. And even Porcupine gets a Valentine of his own. 

Porcupine Cupid

By Jason June, Lori Richmond (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Porcupine Cupid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A porcupine hatches a prickly plan to bring his animal friends together on Valentine's Day in this humorous, heartwarming tale where everyone gets a happily ever after.

Love is in the air this Valentine's Day-or it will be if Porcupine has any say. He uses his quills like Cupid's arrows, hoping to bring the sweet and sentimental spirit of the holiday to all his forest friends. But with every poke! that Porcupine gives, he gets a hey!, ouch!, or yowser! in return.

It seems Porcupine's mission isn't turning out quite like he planned, but with some quick thinking he might…


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