The best teddy bear books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about teddy bear and why they recommend each book.

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The Teddy Bears' Picnic

By Jimmy Kennedy, Alexandra Day (illustrator),

Book cover of The Teddy Bears' Picnic

As a child, I sang along with the song of the same title; the thought of picnicking teddy bears was totally enchanting! This book brings the haunting song to life with luminescent watercolor illustrations depicting fun-loving bear families in the mysterious woods. When I discovered this book I bought it immediately for my preschool daughter.  Reading the story we both wanted to be part of it! The day ends as it should for bear children, making it the perfect 'before bedtime' read for human ones.  

Who am I?

I began my career with children as a preschool teacher and then as a pediatric nurse. In retirement, my love for kids and children's literature has led me to write stories that make kids laugh, feel loved, and inspire a sense of joy and wonder in the world. I especially love stories where animals, especially dogs, birds, and even fireflies are the main characters and tell the story. And, I  believe that part of appreciating the world and making it a better place is celebrating cultural diversity. That's the theme of City Market! There's just no substitute for reading to children. The benefits are truly endless and will last their whole life long.

I wrote...

City Market!

By Jill Ballou,

Book cover of City Market!

What is my book about?

Kendal takes his friend, Sam, on a tour of his favorite place; City Market! Sam is a first-time visitor and enthralled with all he experiences in the market's intriguing international ambiance. They visit the Bakery, the Coffee Shop, The Italian Groceria, buy spices, listen to street musicians, and more! Come along with the boys as Sam discovers the world close to home. The City Market is a real market located in Kansas City, Missouri, as are all the shops and characters! 

Ira Sleeps Over

By Bernard Waber,

Book cover of Ira Sleeps Over

I discovered this book at a library storytime when I was five. The kids were invited to wear their pajamas, making it feel just like a sleepover! I was the perfect age for this story, as I had just made my first best friend in my kindergarten class and was starting to do sleepovers for the very first time. Revisiting this story as an adult, I'm struck by how well it captures the intensity of what should be a very simple decision: bring a teddy bear to a sleepover or not. The author understands how high the stakes are in childhood friendships, where one moment of embarrassment can feel like the end of the world! 

Who am I?

I feel passionate about the topic of friendship because I haven’t been a great friend to all the people that have mattered to me. I’ve learned the value of friendship by making a lot of mistakes. I’m very lucky to be in my 40’s, have an amazing family, and still have a few individuals that I’ve known my entire adult life, who I still talk to on a regular basis. These people are really good friends, because, to be honest, they’ve seen me at my worst, and still love me. I consider myself a wealthy man, in no small part because of my friends. 

I wrote...

A Friend for Yoga Bunny

By Brian Russo,

Book cover of A Friend for Yoga Bunny

What is my book about?

In his second outing, Yoga Bunny finds a new friend... Bear! Bear is nervous about her birthday party and Bunny shows her how he uses yoga to feel more relaxed. He then invites her to do yoga with him and some other animals the next day. When she doesn’t show up, Yoga Bunny is sad at first, but then let's go and wishes her the best. I hope this will show young readers an important aspect of friendship: we can’t always fix our friend’s problems, and they won’t always do what we want. But if we stay open and respect what they’re going through, everything will turn out for the best.

Otter in Space

By Sam Garton,

Book cover of Otter in Space

I’m a big fan of mixing books about space facts with space fiction. So, after reading all about space facts little ones can read about Otter’s fictional space adventure. Have you ever dreamed of flying to the moon? Well after a trip to the museum, where Otter does not get the space rock he so desperately covets, Otter does! An elaborate moon-landing plot evolves. Otter will build his own rocket, fly to the moon and get his own moon rock! Teddy and Giraffe are tasked with special missions, although Otter feels like he ends up doing most of the work. Kids will love Otter’s adventurous spirit, whilst adults may well sympathize with the Otter Keeper, responsible for such a mischievous creature!

Who am I?

I’m a science fiction and fantasy children’s book author, who loves everything about space and science fiction. I’ve been fascinated by space ever since I was little; mesmerized by clips of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. As a teenager, War of the Worlds by H.G Wells was my favorite book! My daughter’s complete lack of interest in space inspired me to write a space adventure series. How could I make space entertaining? When it comes to children, I’m a big fan of mixing space facts with a dollop of space fiction, so I hope you will enjoy the collection of books on this list!

I wrote...

Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon: Book Three: Amelia's Amazing Space Adventures

By Evonne Blanchard,

Book cover of Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon: Book Three: Amelia's Amazing Space Adventures

What is my book about?

One winter’s day I showed my daughter a map of the solar system. Her eyes glazed over… How could I make this fun for her? Hmmm. An alien from Pluto called Uglesnoo. Now, what would Uglesnoo be doing on Earth? He’s here on a quest to save his sister! And this quest will take him and Amelia to the moon, sun, and all the planets in the solar system! Amelia, the Merballs, and the Emerald Cannon is the third book in Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures. In this crazy adventure, Amelia and Uglesnoo must travel to Mercury to pick up flying shoes. The Merballs of Mercury are friendly until an asteroid hits the planet.  Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in trouble once again!

The Teddy Bear

By David McPhail,

Book cover of The Teddy Bear

This story inspires empathy. You may recall a time when you lost something you treasured. Reading this book will get you caring for both the boy and the man in the story. Who needed the teddy bear more? How does the boy change from the beginning of the story to the end? Have you ever been generous like the main character?

Who am I?

I’m a former reading specialist/educational specialist who still enjoys reading aloud to students, helping kids learn to read, and introducing them to quality literature. I love reading picture books...and I write them to entertain and empower kids.

I wrote...

The Thingity-Jig

By Kathleen Doherty, Kristyna Litten (illustrator),

Book cover of The Thingity-Jig

What is my book about?

Under the light of a silvery moon, inquisitive Bear ventures into People Town, where he makes quite the curious discovery. What is this? A springy thing—a bouncy thing—a sit-on-it, jump-on-it thing!

This Thingity-Jig is way too heavy to bring back to the woods by himself, however, so Bear runs home to tell his friends. But nobody wants to get out of bed to help! So Bear invents a Rolly-Rumpity to wheel the Thingity-Jig home, and then it all gets stuck in the mud. How will Bear tackle this bump in the road? With a Lifty-Uppity, of course! 

The Velveteen Rabbit

By Margery Williams, Charles Santore (illustrator),

Book cover of The Velveteen Rabbit

This heart-warming story, which should be on every children’s reading list, illustrates how by being loved, one becomes “real,” or whole. I enjoyed how the author demonstrates to children the theme that being loved helps us feel alive. The straightforward story also shows the desire in all of us to have a community that invites inclusion. Also, the watercolor illustrations help bring the story to life.

Who am I?

I am a psychotherapist working with individuals and couples since 1974 and have had over 57,000 sessions. How people relate to one another has been a fascination of mine since I was a youngster growing up in a suburb of Chicago. I believe that we are “wired” for relationships of all kinds and it takes a conscious effort to see the best in each other for them to thrive. Differences can be the spice of a relationship, not the division of them. My book, my practice, and my life focuses on those concepts. In 2012, I co-authored a popular book on relationships, Togetherness: Creating and Deepening Sustainable Love.

I wrote...

A Surprising Friendship

By Andrew Wald,

Book cover of A Surprising Friendship

What is my book about?

In a world filled with so many different people and animals, friendships come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Because all people and animals are unique and special, no two friendships are the same.

A Surprising Friendship is a heartwarming story of Zoey the Canadian goose and Henry the Black bear that celebrates diversity. Their fun and shared adventures show how differences can be overcome with kindness, acceptance, and a willingness to discover what we have in common with others who are not like us. Also, unavoidable obstacles can be overcome with a strong desire to maintain the friendship.

Introducing Teddy

By Jessica Walton, Dougal MacPherson (illustrator),

Book cover of Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship

Errol and Thomas (his teddy bear), are best friends. But Errol starts noticing that Thomas doesn’t seem to enjoy all the things they do together and seems to be sad. Eventually, Thomas admits to Errol that they had always felt like a girl bear and would like to be called Tilly. Errol doesn’t care about the bear’s gender—just that they are best friends. It’s a lovely story about unconditional love and acceptance.

Who am I?

I am a lyrical writer and have a passion for quiet, thoughtful books. I wrote A Home Again when I became an empty nester. When my husband and I were discussing downsizing our home, I was surprised by the reactions of my grown children. They absolutely did not want us to sell their family home. That led me to think about how our house would feel if we left. A new book was born. My friends, a gay couple, had just bought a new home and I thought it would be wonderful to make the second family in the story two dads. We need to show children there is a diverse array of families in the world—but what connects them all is love.

I wrote...

A Home Again

By Colleen Rowan Kosinski, Valeria Docampo (illustrator),

Book cover of A Home Again

What is my book about?

Home is where the heart is. While that phrase usually speaks to human feelings, in this lovely picture book, the sentiment takes on new meaning as a house reveals its own heart to the reader. By turns, the house feels joy, tenderness, and sorrow as its first family moves in, grows, and moves away. But the heart is a funny thing, and hope—and eventually love—prevail as a brand-new family arrives.

The house experiences a gamut of emotions, and I love the way the text and art gently evoke these and that a couple of different types of families are represented—one with a mother and father and their children and one with two dads and their daughter. I hope you enjoy this tale of a home’s heart.

I Love You Through and Through

By Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak, Caroline Jayne Church (illustrator),

Book cover of I Love You Through and Through

A board book with simple illustrations and words. A child will easily see him or herself in the pages and begin to understand that one’s varying mood changes or expressions are all just fine. Through each expression a child is loved and treasured. So, express yourself! You got this!

Who am I?

My mother was rarely without pen and paper in hand. She wrote stories – true stories. After suffering a stroke she wasn’t able to compose the long enchanting novels she used to, but nevertheless kept writing. The stroke made it difficult for her to tell her special stories to her adored young grandson.  So we became creative. I took photos of her daily life with us. Brooke Dahmen drew beautiful illustrations from these photos. With her grandson’s and my help, grandma wrote true and heartfelt captions for the illustrations. All created in gratitude for the joys of senior living and the kind helping hands of a child.

I wrote...

A Land of Walkers and Wonder

By Leona Budilovsky, Joan Budilovsky, Brooke Dahmen (illustrator)

Book cover of A Land of Walkers and Wonder

What is my book about?

Is grandma or grandpa moving to assisted living? A Land of Walkers and Wonder is written specifically for children and seniors to explore these new types of living arrangements and be inspired by them. The story is about a day in the life of a 5-year-old boy as he visits his grandmother at her apartment in a senior living center. Everyone old is young again as fun games and surprises unfold between generations. Creativity holds no age limit. Inspiration exists in all shapes, sizes, abilities, and ages. Let this book inspire you to dream big at every age.

I Am Sovereign

By Nicola Barker,

Book cover of I Am Sovereign

Hint: You have to read a hard copy of this book because the comedy is designed into the fonts and layout, which could never be translated into an ebook.

This is a free-for-all bumper car ride between people and their ids, filled with abrupt and perfect transitions that are so logical in their illogic that they are funny. 

But not only is it unique and funny, but it is founded on a profound understanding of silence—its essential healing and our inability to find it. 

This book is so inventive I’m kind of amazed (1) that it got published and (2) that author Nicola Barker and this book appear to be wildly popular in the U.K.

Who am I?

I write to learn what I don’t know about myself and our purpose as flawed beings in this Alice-in-Wonderland world. In the documentary about singer/poet Leonard Cohen, creator of the much-covered “Hallelujah” (title of the documentary), to explain the song, he says that life is so impenetrable that the only options are to shake your fist or exclaim “Hallelujah.” I think there is a third option: to laugh. And I prefer to do all three because that is what comes through me: confusion, pain, and hilarity. And hopefully a better understanding of the whole mess once I’ve written about it. And that is what I hope to share with readers.

I wrote...

The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

By Betsy Robinson,

Book cover of The Last Will & Testament of Zelda McFigg

What is my book about?

The Hilarious Story of a One-Woman Train Wreck--Winner of Black Lawrence Press's Big Moose Prize

Meet Zelda McFigg. She is 4-feet 11-inches tall, 237 pounds, and convinced that she could be somebody, if only someone would recognize her inner beauty and star quality. Cousin to Ignatius J. Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces) and Homer Simpson, Zelda runs away from home at age 14, and at age 49 ¼ writes this furiously funny memoir to "set the record straight" about her lifetime of indiscretions. Behind Zelda's rollicking tale of destruction lies a story of exile. Exile from oneself. Readers will see much more about Zelda than she knows about herself.

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