Picture Book Pair for Sharing Love and Friendship

  Picture book pair posts are about showing how books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees and experiences the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Today is Valentine’s Day, and that has everyone talking about love! But not just romantic love. The love of friends and family is a big topic too! Yes, this time of year love is a hot topic, but it’s a good topic to read and talk about all year long. So today we’d like to share two lovely books with a theme of love between friends. But love isn’t the only thing these two books have in common. They also both feature bears! In Love is in the Little Things by Stella J. Jones, illustrate

Review and Activity: Pairing Books with Stuffed Critters

by Trine Grillo

Do you ever wonder what books animals would check out of the library?

Would a giraffe choose tall books?

Would hyenas search for jokes?

What if otter needs one that is waterproof and geckos could only read stick-to-the-wall books?

In the delightful Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and Marc Brown, a librarian accidentally drives the bookmobile into the zoo.  To make the best of the situation, she decides to open the door and begin reading.

“In a flash, every beast in the zoo was stampeding, 

to learn all about this new something called reading.”

The more the animals read, the more they loved books. They read to each other and laughed and solved mysteries. Soon they began writing their own stories!

What about you? Do you have a zoo of stuffed animals in your room or a real live pet?

READ: Wild About Books


  • Can you think of stories your animal friends would like to hear?
  • What stories might be good for a stuffed bear? A stuffed frog?
  • What would your bunnies learn from Peter Rabbit?
  • Could Rocket teach your puppy to read?
  • Would your piglet fall in love with Charlotte?
  • Perhaps your tabby could write a book with Mr. Putter?


Gather up your animal friends. Try to match each one with a book they might enjoy. Find books from your shelf or take a trip to the library. Your stuffed friends are welcome there. Let them choose! Here are some matches I came up with:

Once you've paired your books and pets, find a cozy spot and read together. Laugh out loud. Solve mysteries. Discover secrets!


Read:  Mr. Putty and Tabby Write the Book by Cynthia Rylant. 

Discuss: How do you write a book? Could you do it?

DO: Think of a story you would like to tell. Write it down! Draw colorful pictures to go with it.


  • How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
  • The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara
  • Peter Rabbit (and all of his friends) by Beatrix Potter
  • The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White


Mindy Baker said…
So fun! I love this idea!