Bear Is a Bear (Hardcover)

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Bear Is a Bear By Jonathan Stutzman, Dan Santat (Illustrator) Cover Image

Bear Is a Bear (Hardcover)

By Jonathan Stutzman, Dan Santat (Illustrator)


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September/October 2021 Kids Indie Next List

“Jonathan Stutzman spins a timeless story of a child and their beloved teddy. In the hands of illustrator Dan Santat, Bear is instantly lovable. Be warned: Parents may tear up reading this one at bedtime.”
— Ernio Hernandez, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, CT

Staff Reviews

The lifelong love between a girl and her stuffed companion unfolds through the years in this sweet story with beautiful illustrations.

— Rae Ann

A gorgeous, classic gift book about the enduring love between a little girl and her childhood friend, Bear, from popular author Jonathan Stutzman and Caldecott Medal–winning and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Dan Santat.

Bear is . . . a new friend, a fellow mischief-maker, a protector, and a dreamer.

Through all the many ups and downs of a little girl’s childhood, Bear is there to provide love and support. Until it is time to say goodbye . . . and hello again.

Bear Is a Bear is a tender and surprising tribute to the beloved companions of our childhoods.

This sumptuously illustrated, oversized picture book is the perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays, and the holidays. Parents who grew up on classic stories like The Velveteen Rabbit and Corduroy will love this new spin on a teddy bear seemingly come to life.

Snuggle up for story time with your new favorite read-aloud, Bear Is a Bear!

Jonathan Stutzman is the author of Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug, Llama Destroys the World, Don’t Feed the Coos!, and other books for children. He loves the magic of nighttime. . . . It’s his favorite time of day for reading, driving, and dreaming up new stories. Jonathan lives in Pennsylvania with his wife. You can visit him online at

Dan Santat is a #1 New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of more than one hundred titles, which include The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, which won the Randolph Caldecott Medal in 2015. He is also the creator of the Disney animated hit The Replacements. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and various pets. You can visit him online at

Product Details ISBN: 9780062880512
ISBN-10: 0062880519
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: September 14th, 2021
Pages: 48
Language: English

“A special story about a beautiful friendship between a girl and her teddy bear…. Caldecott winner Santat’s digitally rendered illustrations in watercolor pencil explode with character and warmth.... Enthusiastic children will want to share stories about their own favorite cuddles with this sure winner.” — ALA Booklist (starred review)

“This has the vintage sweetness of The Velveteen Rabbit and the contemporary heart of Toy Story, and it would make a gentle read in a teddy bear storytime or as a gift—accompanied, of course, by a stuffie for the recipient. ” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“In this ode to the timelessness of cherished playthings, a toy bear accompanies a child through myriad experiences…. Will have adults and young readers alike reflecting on the indispensable natures of their own favorite stuffies.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Stutzman’s declarative sentences are packed with meaning, which Santat explores through the loving relationship between the characters in his expressive watercolor, pencil, and Photoshop illustrations. The spare text allows for visual creativity… [which] makes the impact of the final surprise reveal all the sweeter, and upon rereading reinforces an appreciation for the larger-than-life presence favorite toys can have in our lives.” — Horn Book Magazine

“There’s real poetry in the declamatory, rhythmic text and a lovely, everyday magic in Bear and the child’s easygoing, unconditional connection.” — Publishers Weekly

Praise for THE NIGHT IS FOR DARKNESS: “A beautiful bedtime story with a lilting text to lull little ones to sleep.” — School Library Journal

“Lovely lilting language [and] soothing reassurances render the night magical and moving home an adventure in this sweetheart of a bedtime tale.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Stutzman’s rhyming tribute to the magic of nighttime… feel[s] like a lullaby, delivering a hypnotic effect that will engage young readers while lulling them to sleep.” — ALA Booklist

“This offering is couched in reassurance and comfort.” — Publishers Weekly