The most recommended bear books

Who picked these books? Meet our 75 experts.

75 authors created a book list connected to bears, and here are their favorite bear books.
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Book cover of Jamberry

Aaron Zenz Author Of The Hiccupotamus

From my list on nonsense in children’s books.

Who am I?

I am the Illustrator of 45 books for kids, 9 of which I authored as well. I have always been attracted to joyful nonsense. I am drawn to books and writings that turn norms on their heads. From the time I was super young, my favorite poem has been Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” with its delightful slithy toves gyring and gimbling in the wabe. In fact, of the books I’ve written to date, every one has had some kind of nonsensical element to it.

Aaron's book list on nonsense in children’s books

Aaron Zenz Why did Aaron love this book?

The catchy sing-song rhyming text is a delight for both tongue and ear. Packed with alliteration, consonance, and nonsensical compound words, this book is a super fun read-aloud. The artwork is just as wild and surreal as the text, showcasing swaying toast trees, tumbling blueberry waterfalls, and bursting strawberry fireworks. Here are some of my favorite nonsense words found inside: Jamble, Canoeberry, Boomberry, Razzamatazzberry, Clickety-clackberry

By Bruce Degen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This bestselling classic features a berry-loving boy and an endearing rhyme-spouting bear. The fun wordplay and bright paintings with lots of details for young readers to explore make Jamberry a perennial favorite, and this board book edition is a great stocking stuffer. A small boy and a big friendly bear embark on a berry-picking extravaganza, looking for blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Their fun adventure comes to a razzamatazz finale under a starberry sky. From author-illustrator Bruce Degen, Jamberry is perfect for sharing. "With delightful, rich illustrations and zany wordplay, Jamberry is a must have book for any family with young…


Book cover of The Bike Lesson

Teresa Anne Power Author Of Yoga at the Zoo: Little Mouse Adventures

From my list on books for preschoolers that they'll want you to read over...and over...and over....

Who am I?

Years ago, as I began teaching kids yoga, I noticed a lack of quality yoga-inspired children’s books. So, I took matters into my own hands and published my first book, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, filling a void and sparking a series published in five languages. This success led to my Little Mouse Adventures series, blending storytelling with yoga and life skills. I believe in subtly imparting positive messages through playful storytelling, weaving in lessons along the way. My hope is young readers not only enjoy my stories but develop a lasting love for yoga and valuable life skills, just like the impact stories had on my own children. 

Teresa's book list on books for preschoolers that they'll want you to read over...and over...and over...

Teresa Anne Power Why did Teresa love this book?

Father does not always know best when it comes to the Berenstain Bears!

Little Bear is very excited to ride his new bike in this classic Berenstain Bears story, but first, Papa Bear wants to show him the ropes. Unfortunately for Little Bear (but fortunately for the reader), Papa Bear is more concerned with showing off, resulting in slapstick, disastrous results.

At the end of the story, Papa Bear tries to save face by claiming that he was showing Little Bear what not to do, a situation that will make you smile thinking about the stubborn members of your family!

By Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Bike Lesson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

The Bike Lesson is a perfect story for beginning readers, who will delight in spotting the dangers of the road before Father Bear does. And beginning bicylists will want to find out whether Small Bear will get a chance to read his new bike!

The Berenstain Bears are back with another hair-brained adventure, this time when Father Bear tries to teach Small Bear how to ride a bicycle. It looks like Father Bear might need to take note of the lessons himself!

Beginner Books have been designed to appeal directly to children through the use of humour, rhyme and bright…


Book cover of East

Alexandria Miracola Author Of Penelope Grace and the Winter Carousel

From my list on fantasy to reignite your sense of wonder.

Who am I?

I’ve been captivated by wonder for four years now, but it’s my family’s experience of grief that convinced me that wonder is essential. On a dark December day, my grandpa, John, passed away. There was an emptiness that would not go away, until God broke through the darkness that was suffocating our hearts and home. I was reminded that wonder is a gift from a loving, intentional Father and a sword that cuts through the lies that tell us faith is pointless, childish, and weak. I hope that my own story, as well as the others I’ve shared here, helps reignite your own desire to fight for wonder.

Alexandria's book list on fantasy to reignite your sense of wonder

Alexandria Miracola Why did Alexandria love this book?

This is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, and it’s a world that I love to disappear into year after year. East challenged me to see beyond the surface of my circumstances and gave a glimpse of the treasure that was only waiting for me to have the eyes to see it. It’s the book that convinced me that the reality of grief wasn’t the end of my family’s story.

By Edith Pattou,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Full of fear and excitement, Rose, a young woman, journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear, only to find that her journey has just begun, in a retelling of the classic tale, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." Jr. Lib Guild. An ALA Notable Book & Top Ten Best Books for Young Readers. Reprint.


Book cover of Little Bear

Teresa Anne Power Author Of Yoga at the Zoo: Little Mouse Adventures

From my list on books for preschoolers that they'll want you to read over...and over...and over....

Who am I?

Years ago, as I began teaching kids yoga, I noticed a lack of quality yoga-inspired children’s books. So, I took matters into my own hands and published my first book, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, filling a void and sparking a series published in five languages. This success led to my Little Mouse Adventures series, blending storytelling with yoga and life skills. I believe in subtly imparting positive messages through playful storytelling, weaving in lessons along the way. My hope is young readers not only enjoy my stories but develop a lasting love for yoga and valuable life skills, just like the impact stories had on my own children. 

Teresa's book list on books for preschoolers that they'll want you to read over...and over...and over...

Teresa Anne Power Why did Teresa love this book?

Little Bear, Mother Bear, Father Bear, and Duck were such lovable characters that they formed some of the inspiration for the characters in my own book series, many years after reading them both as a child and later to my children!

Little Bear stories are gentle, calm, and cozy, emphasizing friendship and family. Reading these stories will feel like a warm hug, for your kids and for you! 

By Else Holmelund Minarik, Maurice Sendak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Little Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From the illustrator of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.
Little Bear loves to go on adventures and Mother Bear is always there when he needs her. In this book he goes to the moon, plays in the snow and there's even a surprise birthday party. Just what will he get up to next?
Full of warm and lovingly playful stories that are perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences on their own.


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

Karlin Gray Author Of Anne and Her Tower of Giraffes

From my list on picture-book biographies for young animal lovers.

Who am I?

I write picture-book biographies and my latest book focuses on the first giraffologist, Dr. Anne Innis Dagg. While researching this book, I learned about so many people who have dedicated their lives to studying and protecting animals. Almost always, their love of wildlife began in childhood. So why not inspire young animal lovers today with true stories about people who share their passion for wildlife?

Karlin's book list on picture-book biographies for young animal lovers

Karlin Gray Why did Karlin love this book?

You’ve probably read Winnie the Pooh, either as a child or to a child. But I bet you don’t know about the real bear who inspired one of the most famous characters in children’s literature. Told as an origin story within a bedtime story, this bestselling and award-winning illustrated biography ends with wonderful photos of all the characters: the real Winnie (a girl!), the vet who rescued her, the soldiers who cared for her, the boy who famously befriended her, and the author who immortalized the beloved bear. Best of all, Finding Winnie is a success at proving one of the book’s themes—sometimes the very best stories are true stories.

By Lindsay Mattick, Sophie Blackall (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Finding Winnie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



A #1 New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the Caldecott Medal about the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.
In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war.

Harry Colebourn's real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey--from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England...

And finally to…


Book cover of Zen Shorts

Whitney Stewart Author Of Mindful Tots: Tummy Ride

From my list on mindfulness for young children.

Who am I?

Whitney Stewart will travel far for a story—trekking in a Himalayan snowstorm with Sir Edmund Hillary, climbing to remote Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, interviewing the Dalai Lama in India, and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. She is an award-winning author of nonfiction for children, and a longtime meditation practitioner. When she is not writing or traveling, she teaches mindfulness and self-care to children.

Whitney's book list on mindfulness for young children

Whitney Stewart Why did Whitney love this book?

I adore this picture book and return to it often, to read to myself or to share with children. The story of three children meeting Stillwater, a peaceful panda, is fresh and fun. Stillwater teaches each child through an ancient story. The tone of the book and Muth’s illustrations perfectly reflect the concepts of stillness, self-awareness, self-acceptance, and non-judgment.

Jon Muth says it best when he writes in his author’s note: “’Zen Shorts’ are short meditations—ideas to puzzle over—tools which hone our ability to act with intuition. They have no goal, but they often challenge us to reexamine our habits, desires, concepts, and fears.”

By Jon J. Muth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zen Shorts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Meet Stillwater, a GIANT, and very zen, panda bear in
this captivating picture book for little ones that love stories.

When Stillwater, a giant panda, moves into Addy, Michael and Karl's
neighborhood, he tells them the most amazing stories!

To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods.

To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad.

And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration.

With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love
and enlightenment, Jon Muth - and Stillwater the bear - present
three ancient Zen tales…


Book cover of National Geographic Readers: All about Bears

Terry Pierce Author Of Eat Up, Bear!

From my list on bear books toddlers can sink their teeth into.

Who am I?

I’m the author of 25 children’s books, and I recently moved to a small mountain town that has come to co-exist with wild black bears by learning how to properly store and dispose of our food (rather than the alternative, which was to eliminate the bears!). Ever since I’ve lived there, I’ve been fascinated by human-bear interactions, having a few of my own now! When Yosemite Conservancy put out a call for children’s stories, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about—how people can help keep bears safe and wild through proper food storage. I’m a huge advocate for bears and all wildlife!

Terry's book list on bear books toddlers can sink their teeth into

Terry Pierce Why did Terry love this book?

What I love about Nat Geo’s All About Bears Pre-Reader is that it’s the perfect “next bear book” after a board book (those books typically written for toddlers). Because the book is a pre-reader, the text is simple enough for a 2-3-year-old to understand. In true Nat Geo style, the text is simple, and the book’s design and the photographs are excellent. It really is a terrific book for very young children who want to learn more about bears.

By National Kids,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked National Geographic Readers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Take a tour around the world to meet all kinds of bears in this delightful pre-reader.

Kids love bears and in this book they'll be introduced to them all: Grizzly, polar, sun, sloth, black, and brown. Great full-colour photos reveal details about how and where they live.

Perfect for beginning and young readers, National Geographic Pre-readers include simple, expert-vetted text and large, engaging photos on every page. A vocabulary tree at the beginning of the book introduces kids to key words in concept groups, helping kids make connections between words. Plus, a wrap-up activity gives kids a chance to use…


Book cover of Bear in the Back Seat

Karen Barnett Author Of Ever Faithful

From my list on national park adventures and misadventures.

Who am I?

I am endlessly inspired by the beauty and majesty of our national parks. As a former seasonal ranger at Mount Rainier National Park and Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park, I was frequently surprised by the incredible scrapes that visitors could get themselves into. Of course, I wasn’t immune, and I experienced a few misadventures of my own. These books are great reminders to always respect your limits and be aware of your surroundings. Since I now write novels set in our national parks, I enjoy reading some of these real adventures—it provides great fodder for the imagination. 

Karen's book list on national park adventures and misadventures

Karen Barnett Why did Karen love this book?

If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted book about the national parks, Bear in the Backseat is an entertaining look at the experiences of a wildlife ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It contains a variety of humorous anecdotes mixed with more sobering tales. This book will open your eyes to the difficulty in managing both wildlife and park visitors. It contains a variety of humorous anecdotes mixed with more sobering tales.

By Kim DeLozier, Carolyn Jourdan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bear in the Back Seat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#7 in the USA audio book in 2016#9 in the USA Wall Street Journal best seller in 2013Named A Top 50 Must Read for the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.Named A Top 10 Must-Read Books That Could Save Our National Parks and the Environment along with John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Lewis & Clark, Bill Bryson, and Ken Burns.
Bear in the Back Seat I is the first volume in a series of true stories from “[a]n extraordinary landscape populated with befuddled bears, hormonally-crazed elk, homicidal wild boars, hopelessly timid wolves, and nine million tourists, some of whom…


Book cover of Kuma-Kuma Chan, the Little Bear

Sanae Ishida Author Of Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl

From my list on Japan.

Who am I?

My parents were both born and raised in Japan but met in New York and eventually settled in Los Angeles, where I grew up. My first language was Japanese and as a nisei (second generation), I am deeply steeped in my Asian heritage. I am continually inspired by the art and storytelling that originates from Japanese culture and love to incorporate them into my own work.

Sanae's book list on Japan

Sanae Ishida Why did Sanae love this book?

These small, sparsely illustrated books are so charming and quirky! At the surface, there seems to be very little going on, but there is a soothing quality to the simple text that allows you to contemplate the little wonders of life. The naïve artwork works so well with the quiet, short musings by Kuma-Kuma chan and the narrator.

By Kazue Takahashi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kuma-Kuma Chan, the Little Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This lovingly rendered, meditative book on friendship is sure to find a permanent place on the bedside table

With sparse text and a deceptively simple, beautiful design, Japanese author/illustrator Kazue Takahashi brings to life the world of Kuma-Kuma Chan, which loosely translates from the Japanese as “cute little bear.” Making its first appearance in English, this charming book for preschoolers and readers of all ages poses the question, “How might my friend, a solitary bear, choose to spend his days?” The soft, almost dreamlike illustrations are accompanied by single sentences making it easy for emerging readers to follow along. Daily…


Book cover of Mother Bruce

Marty Kelley Author Of Almost Everybody Farts

From my list on to laugh so hard milk shoots out your nose.

Who am I?

I’m a full-time author and illustrator, and a recovering second grade teacher. I visit with tens of thousands of kids at schools every year and love sharing funny books with them. I’ve written and illustrated over 30 published books and know that kids appreciate subtle humor as well as in-your-face hilarity. I love writing stories that will make readers laugh and think. But mostly laugh.

Marty's book list on to laugh so hard milk shoots out your nose

Marty Kelley Why did Marty love this book?

This is probably the most perfect picture book. The illustrations are terrific – full of detail and bold colors. The humor is spot-on and works on multiple levels. Kids will adore Bruce’s cranky (but genuinely kind) attitude while adults laugh at the small asides that ring in a slightly more sophisticated way. 

By Ryan T. Higgins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mother Bruce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?



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?