Posted in book lists

favorite books at almost-three

I think it’s time for another book list!

Rondel, about a week away from his third birthday, has discovered that subset of children’s books that have bears as the protagonists, and is completely in love with them. His favorites span quite a wide range of reading level (from board books to chapter books) but it seems like the bears are the appeal right now. So from easiest to most difficult, here are his current favorite bear books!

The Moonbear/Bear Books by Frank Asch

There are a lot of these books; Asch was a pretty prolific author! My parents have at least 12 of them (including 4 board books) from my brother’s toddlerhood, and Rondel loves them all. He’ll bring out the whole pile of books and contentedly rotate through them until the adult reader has to take a break! Some of our favorites include:

Sand Cake

In which a baby bear and his papa find a creative way to bake and eat a cake at the beach, even though all they can see is ocean and sand.


In which Moonbear worries that the sky is on fire when he sees a rainbow, and does his best to put it out despite Little Bird’s reassurances.


In which Little Bird teaches Moonbear how to play hide-and-seek, and Moonbear asks the moon to play along.

But really, it is hard to go wrong with the Moonbear books. My personal favorites are Mooncake and Moondance! He is a very endearing character – not the brightest, which lets even little kids see the humor of the situations he gets himself into – but very genuine and open. He deeply cares about the things in his world, whether it’s the sky, the moon, the clouds, or his friends.

Don Freeman’s Bear Books

These two books aren’t part of a series (although one of them does have a sequel, which Rondel hasn’t read yet), but they’re by the same author and capture some of the same innocence and love.

Corduroy, which made it onto Rondel’s favorite book list a year ago, still holds a special place in his heart (and in mine!). We went to the mall this weekend and he saw and escalator for probably the first time and immediately wanted to ride up it because that’s what Corduroy Bear got to do in the book! So of course we did 🙂

Rondel’s new absolute favorite book, though, is another by the same author:

Beady Bear

In which a toy bear discovers in a book that bears ought to live in caves, and so sets out to find a cave and make it his own. The pull for Rondel in this book is when Beady’s friend Thayer comes and finds him and brings him back home with a big hug. After Thayer has found him and wound him back up, Beady asks Thayer, “If I need you, who do you need?” and Rondel always answers, delightedly, before I can turn the page, “Beady!” And then of course we have the perfect excuse for a hug of our own before reading the last few pages 🙂


And finally… A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh Stories!

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh

If you’ve never read these, you’re missing out. I think most of you, however, are already familiar with the bumbling, innocent, creative characters of Milne’s invention, and it has been a pleasure introducing Rondel to them for the first time. This is the first chapter book we’ve attempted to read aloud together, and I wasn’t sure how it would go, but he has sat captivated for each (long) chapter, asked questions about the stories, and referenced them in conversation afterwards. I’m sure a lot of it goes over his head, but how can you learn if everything you read is at or below the level you can understand already?

So there you have it, our current favorite bear books, courtesy of Rondel at almost-three 🙂

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