My Favorite Bear Books, Part 1

Winter is here, and it is time to feel cozy, just like bears.  I love bears and bear stories. Children do too.  While stories about animals are always popular, bear stories are favorites, year after year.

Here are my favorite bear books:
There are old ones and new ones, stories to make you laugh, stories of history, books with rhyming, holiday messages, and adventure.  There are books that are just good.  They make me want to read them again, and I do.

Finding Winnie, by Lindsay Mattick

This is the true story of Winnie the Pooh, the bear that became famous in WWI before he went to the London zoo.  It is captivating, with real photos and beautiful illustrations.  The reader is immediately drawn to the soldier Harry Colebourn on the train in Canada to fight in the war, and finding a bear cub.

Those Pesky Rabbits, by Ciara Flood

The bear lives alone, and suddenly a family of rabbits move in next door.  He is annoyed at his unwanted new neighbors, despite their many efforts to be friendly.  Humor and persistence win over a grumpy old bear who finally finds friends.

Iver & Ellsworth, by Casey W. Robinson

This book has the same wonderful feel and text as A Sick Day For Amos McGee.  Iver takes care of his good friend Ellsworth, a factory rooftop bear.  When Iver retires and moves, the bear must go in search of Iver.  The text is full of love, hope, and adventure, written in soft ways that draw in the reader.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin Jr.

The rhythm and verse of the text, combined with the excitement of what animal and color will appear next, has made this book a classic.  Children never tire of this book.  They look forward to page after page with anticipation. It was Eric Carle’s debut as an illustrator of children’s books.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen

The repeated chant of “We’re going on a bear hunt” follows five children and their dog as they travel through grass, river, mud, a snowstorm, and a forest before arriving at the bear’s cave.  And then, they have to go back through the same obstacles, with the bear chasing them.  Repetition, excitement, and of course a bear, make this book a winner.

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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56 Responses to My Favorite Bear Books, Part 1

  1. Amazing, Jennie! Thank you for the wonderful recommendation. Best wishes, Michael

  2. Who can resist a good bear story? These sound delightful!

  3. Dan Antion says:

    I hope it’s ok for adults to read these. Some sound wonderful.

  4. quiall says:

    I was born in Winnipeg (Where Winnie got his name) so he was always my hero. I think he still is.

  5. Ritu says:

    Some great stories there! I also like Hugless Douglas, and The Bear Snores On!

  6. Darlene says:

    Some great bear books out there! Here is a secret, the story of the Three bears scared me when I was very little. It actually gave me nightmares. I was an odd child.

    • Jennie says:

      Fairy tales can be very scary. Sometimes I scare a child if I use a big Papa Bear voice. I really don’t think you were an odd child, Darlene. 🙂

  7. I have to say I never tired of reading Brown Bear to our youngest. Her excitement made it all the more fun. Almost like it was a new book each time.

  8. Those are great books, Jennie! Brown Bear, Brown Bear is a favorite here.

  9. TanGental says:

    A lovely list… but if Paddington isn’t on your part 2 Jeanie I’m afraid I will have to sit in the corner and comfort eat marmalade…

    • Jennie says:

      I love, love Paddington! I think my favorite story is when he goes to the circus. Do you know how hard it was to pick only 10 bear books? 🙂 Part 2 is the rest of the Bear books in the photo. Just posted. So please don’t sit in the corner, just eat the marmalade. Best to you, Geoff.

      • TanGental says:

        I don’t know if you ever saw the post I did on my debt to Paddington on the occasion of Michael Bond’s death. I received a touching email from his granddaughter after that, saying how much he would have approved! Quite made my year, that.

      • Jennie says:

        Big Wow!! Please, please send the link! I’m walking out the door to school and will read it this evening. I was fortunate to see his exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum. More later. Gotta run…

      • TanGental says: there you go. It’s longish but it certainly came from the heart. It’s also a tribute to the great education and educators I had without whom my life would never have been so rich. And what I fail to mention in the post is that, without Paddington I would not have gone to university, or at least the one I went to and I would not have met my wife of nearly 40 years. Yep I owe him so much!

      • Jennie says:

        Wow. Big wow! Sometimes those one or two word phrases say far more than eloquent words. My English teacher would be horrified, and I always have a twinge of guilt when I write like that. This was a fabulous read. More importantly, it shows what a difference children’s books make in our lives. Your story of Paddington is deeply personal and moving. It is just wonderful. Thank you, Geoff. I need to post this as an epilogue to my bear posts, because many bloggers love Paddington, and because your story captures it all.

      • TanGental says:

        Please feel free! I’m with you that stories can be so important, not just in their own enjoyment but in the shared experience. I was with a group of old friends and the subject of Little Women, the film came up. Soon that opened up reminiscences between especially the women, taking them back to their childhoods, finding common ground that they didn’t know was there, having grown up in different places and times but all benefitting from the imagination stimulated by some simple words on a page. Writing a story is the ultimate in creating Michelin starred mindfood, isn’t it? Share it and the joys are manifold

      • Jennie says:

        Yes, indeed! I wish you could be a guest reader in my classroom, Paddington of course. 🙂

      • TanGental says:

        When I’m in you’re area next!

      • Jennie says:

        That would be awesome!

  10. beetleypete says:

    I like the look of Iver and Ellsworth, Jennie. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  11. teacherturnedmommyblog says:

    there are so many books that can be pulled into a diverse collection of stories. I love providing these collections to my students so they can see how much they can enjoy and learn from books

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I will wait for section two before I add my bears.

  13. Great list. People with little kids would appreciate that.

  14. Great selections, Jennie! 🙂 Sharing…

  15. I remember reading “We’re going on a bear hunt” to my children. Great selection Jennie 🙂

  16. A lovely selection of children’s books, Jennie. You can see Eric Carle’s style of illustrating for the cover of the brown bear book.

  17. Norah says:

    You have a few of my favourites and a couple of unknowns in there, Jennie. A lovely selection. Thank you.

  18. More great reads and many familiar ones. 🙂 🙂

  19. abbiosbiston says:

    These are great recommendations. I would have to include Peace at Last on my list and just anything Paddington related!

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