Best Teddy Bear Books

Published on: 02 July 2024

The Teddy Bear Ladies Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell, from The Repair Shop, recommend their best bear books. 

We are delighted to share with you some of our favourite books about teddy bears. Some of our choices come from our own childhood and others we have discovered over the years and, of course there are those we have shared with our own children. 

Julie says,“My early favourites included anything fanciful and richly illustrated. loved stories could understand before I could read. would flick through the pages until found a colour picture and lose myself in the adventure of it. The Water Babies, Little Grey Rabbit, Peter Pan and Black Beauty were all books that could do this with. One of my absolute favourites was, and still is, The Wind in the Willows. The thought of Mole ditching his spring cleaning to go on an adventure still resonates with me today!”  

Amanda says,“I loved reading from a very young age and would flick enthusiastically through any book that had pictures. As soon as was able to read text on her own, Enid Blyton became a firm favourite. Amelia Jane, Mr Pink Whistle, Brer Rabbit, and many more filled my bookcase, and would read them over and over. I also loved Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. feel very fortunate that was introduced to reading at a young age and feel strongly that where possible all children should be given the opportunity to open up their imagination through books. 

And so, to our bear related recommendations. 

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, illustrated by E. H. Shepard  

Of course, we both love Winnie-the-Pooh! As young children we found the text a little too grown-up but always enjoyed it being read to us. The illustrations, particularly the map, made a difficult read more accessible.We are so pleased that today’s young readers have access to more adaptations of this classic to enjoy. 

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

Another that we love and shared with our children is the timeless We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Such a fantastic, interactive read with an adventurous twist. It is essential that the reader MUST read with expression to create the mood. Definitely one to get both children and adults over-excited on a rainy day. 

Peace at Last by Jilly Murphy 

Amanda says, “I have very fond memories of a book by Jill Murphy called Peace at Last. Iread this regularly to my son who found myability to create the sound effects hysterical. Poor Father Bear is unable to sleep and has to keep moving rooms to help him settle, only to find yet another distraction in that room. It is essential that the reader creates as many of the sound effects as possible to provide the perfect atmosphere for this story. 

Little Bear Stories by Jane Hissey 

Julie says, “I loved reading the Little Bear Stories by Jane Hissey to my children. It has gorgeous illustrations and a classic style of writing, which love. Illustrations have always been important to meand I particularly enjoy pointing things out in the pictures as I would read stories to her children. She believes the story should also be told through the illustrations to help younger readers to start appreciating books and wanting to look inside. 

Can’t You Sleep Little Bear? by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth 

Another favourite of Amanda’s is Can’t you Sleep Little Bear? The perfect bedtime story which gently soothes anxieties before sleep. Big Bear is so kind and patient with Little Bear when he is scared of the dark.  

Mary Plain Adventures by Gwynedd Rae, illustrated by Clara Vulliamy 

Another interesting series of books Julie enjoys is the Mary Plain Adventures by Gwynedd Rae. First published in 1930, these stories are somewhat dated as they tell of a little bear who lived in the bear pits in Bern in Switzerland. The stories are kind and gentle and, in many ways, still relevant today. Having visited Bern, Julie is pleased to say that the bear pits do still exist but now form a very small part of a lovely new enclosure.  

Bartie Bristle and Other Stories: Tales from the Teddy Bear Ladies by Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell is out now. 

Topics: Features

Become a BookTrust Friend today

Give the gift of reading from just £3 a month

Open the magical world of books to children

Donate now