National Hug-a-Bear day gets us in the mood to curl up with our favorite teddy bear and a story featuring very fuzzy characters in the leading role. From Paddington to Little Bear, read on for our list of our favorite storybook bears.

paddington bear photo: Martin Pettitt via flickr 

Paddington
Paddington’s creator, Michael Bond, based this celebrated bear on a teddy bear he spotted in a London toy store near Paddington Station at Christmastime in 1956. The first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958. Since that time, nearly 100 books have been published, as well as cartoons and, more recently, a feature length movie for the CGI crowd which prompted the unveiling over 50 Paddington statues around London.

berenstain bears photo: Amber Guetebier

The Berenstain Bears
The bear-children of Stan and Jan Berenstain, this loveable family of tree-house dwelling bears teach important lessons in the guise of a bedtime story. The husband-and-wife creators published the first Berenstain Bear story in 1962. Their son, Mike, continues the legacy today.

winnie the pooh photo: Loren Javier via flickr 

Winnie the Pooh
This lovable bear and companion to Christopher Robin spends his days adventuring (and seeking honey) in the 100-acre woods since 1926 when A.A. Milne first penned Winnie the Pooh. Your kids may know him better from his many Disney cartoons and films where he and Rabbit, Tigger and Owl have been delighting kids of all ages for years. 

goodnight already
photo: Amber Guetebier

Goodnight Already
This hilarious story tells the story of a sleepy bear and his wide-awake neighbor (a scenario that many parents can relate to). Written by Jory John (All My Friends are Dead, I Will Chomp You and many more) and beautifully illustrated by Benji Davies, this is one very bear-able tale.

Little Bearphoto: Wikimedia commons

Little Bear
Written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, children since 1957 have cherished the adventures of Little Bear as he travels to the moon, makes birthday soup and plays in the snow in his best coat.

hatback Walker booksphoto: Walker Books

I Want My Hat Back
Jon Klassen’s instant classic will have you and the kids chuckling along as the bear very politely looks for his hat. We won’t spoil it by telling you if he gets it or not.

brown bear

photo: Amber Guetebier

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Although Eric “Very Hungry Caterpillar” Carle is often credited as the author of this iconic book, it was Bill Martin Jr. who wrote the story and teamed up with Carle as illustrator. Kids will also love Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See?.

orange pear apple bear

photo: Amber Guetebier

Orange Pear Apple Bear
Emily Gravett’s beautiful watercolor-washed illustrations are more than just beautiful: they are funny and the easy build-up of words is perfect for budding readers.

Who is your favorite storybook bear? Let us know in the comments below! 

—Amber Guetebier