Five Great Books about Bears
Question: What kind of bear is best?
Answer: Any bear that’s in a book, of course!
Over the past few years we’ve published a number of books featuring bears: friendly bears, soldier bears, hungry bears, baby bears. Here are some of the best.
Written by Sabine Lipan
Illustrated by Manuela Olten
A funny and imaginative read-aloud
A mother is surprised when her son tells her that there is a bear standing outside their door. How did the bear get all the way from his cave in the forest to their eleventh-floor apartment? And what is it doing here in the middle of the city?
This sweet story of a wacky chain of events will appeal to young readers who like to make up their own tall tales.
Written & illustrated by Jean-François Dumont
Parents’ Choice Award silver medalist
An emotionally stirring book about kindness and friendship
Life isn’t easy for a bear. Not when he has to sleep on the sidewalk among cardboard boxes and old clothes. Not when he lives in a city full of people who are repulsed by him. Not when he’s hungry and homeless. But one day a young girl smiles at the bear, and he realizes that maybe there is something that could make life a bit easier — a friend.
This poignant, heartwarming tale will move readers of all ages and inspire them to be more compassionate and empathetic towards others.
See an illustrated excerpt on Eerdlings.
Written by Katy Beebe
Illustrated by S. D. Schindler
A clever tale that will charm book lovers
Brother Hugo can’t return his library book — the letters of St. Augustine — because, it turns out, the precious book has been devoured by a bear! Instructed by the abbot to borrow another monastery’s copy and create a replacement, the hapless monk painstakingly crafts a new book, copying it letter by letter and line by line. But when he sets off to return the borrowed copy, he finds himself trailed by his hungry new friend. Once a bear has a taste of letters, it appears, he’s rarely satisfied!
Brother Hugo and the Bear is loosely based on a note found in a twelfth-century manuscript — and largely on the creative imaginings of author Katy Beebe. Lavishly illustrated by S. D. Schindler in the style of medieval manuscripts, this humorous tale is sure to delight readers who have acquired their own taste for books.
Written by Bibi Dumon Tak
Illustrated by Philip Hopman
Winner of the 2012 Batchelder Award
Based on a real series of events that happened during World War II, Soldier Bear tells the story of an orphaned bear cub adopted by a group of Polish soldiers in Iran. The soldiers raise the bear and eventually enlist him as a soldier to ensure that he stays with the company. He travels with them from Iran to Italy, and then on to Scotland. Voytek’s mischief gets him into trouble along the way, but he also provides some unexpected encouragement for the soldiers amidst the reality of war: Voytek learns to carry bombs for the company, saves the camp from a spy, and keeps them constantly entertained with his antics.
Always powerful and surprising, Bibi Dumon Tak’s story offers readers a glimpse at this fascinating piece of history.
Read “Soldier Bear, the Batchelder, and the Risky Business of Publishing International Literature” by EBYR managing editor Kathleen Merz.
Written & illustrated by Marisabina Russo
Peter can’t do any of the things that his big sister can. She can leap and skip, but he can only crawl. She only cries for very important things — like scraping her knee — but Peter cries all the time. She can use grown-up words and count in French; he can only say “dada” and “baba.”
But after all, Peter is just a baby. Though maybe now that he’s having his first birthday party, he’ll be the sibling his big sister has dreamed of . . .
This charming, light-hearted book is the perfect story for any child adjusting to a younger sibling.
Kids can add their own personal touch with a coloring page.