Books are magical things that can transport readers to other times or places. They are also practical, explaining what we need to know and teaching what we want to learn. Suggested here are teddy bear books you may not yet own but will want to add to your bookshelf. Some of these books are recent, some are old but still available as new and some can only be found in the secondary market.
The Teddy Bear Book by Peter Bull (House of Nisbet, 1983; originally Bear with Me, 1969): Peter Bull, an actor and writer, is considered the father of the teddy bear renaissance commencing in the 1970s and the first well-known person to loudly declare their virtues. His whimsical, informational book is updated since its first publication. Bull was sadly lost to us in 1984, but his influence is strongly felt among friends of teddy bears the world over.
Teddy Bears by Phillipa and Peter Waring (Treasure Press, 1980): This volume has been correctly referred to as a scrapbook, united by its theme of teddy bears. It’s filled with bits of information and pictures that might have been lost to the teddy bear world had they not been gathered and put into this book.
FYI: Reference Books
The American Teddy Bear Encyclopedia by Linda Mullins (Hobby House Press, 1995): I could not help but be biased about this book on the subject of teddy bears born in the United States. It has splendid information, pictures, advertisements and more, plus photos of many American teddy bears that have not previously appeared in other books.
Christie’s Century of Teddy Bears by Leyla Maniera (Waston-Gulip, 2001): If one picture is worth a thousand words, the gorgeous photos in this beauty of a book must be worth a million words. I adore this beautiful volume—a fine teddy bear history. The author relates the effects of World Wars I and II on the production of teddy bears. You may want to read this book more than once. I did.
The Little History of the Teddy Bear by Michele Brown (Tempus, 2006): This is a history handbook for all teddy bear enthusiasts and great for those new to teddy bear collecting. An excellent feature of this book is a list of important teddy bear historic dates in chronological order. I like this little book in a big way.
The Story of the Steiff Teddy Bear: An Illustrated History from 1902 by Günther Pfeiffer (David and Charles, 2003): Simply put, this is a wealth of information about Steiff. With great pictures, valuable details and the history of these world-famous, collectible German teddy bears, this book is easy to pick up and hard to put down once you start turning the pages.
Teddy Bears: A Complete Collector’s Guide by Sue Pearson (Miller’s, 2002): A book does not have to be pretty to interest me, but the truth is I am very fond of pretty books. This is a beautiful book, but there is much more to it: 400 teddy bears, all pictured in color; prices are in dollars and pounds. This is a great read—filled with authoritative information and many tips for collectors highlighted in sidebars—to add to your teddy bear book library.
The Teddy Bear Men: Theodore Roosevelt and Clifford Berryman by Linda Mullins (Hobby House Press, 1987): This book—packed with photos, drawings and information—is the definitive work on the teddy bear men by the teddy bear woman. It has everything you ever wanted to know about the connection of President Theodore Roosevelt, cartoonist Clifford Berryman and the teddy bear. The author tells of her inspiration and work, with teddy bear artist Flore Emory, to create the prototype of Steiff’s Berryman Bear.
Teddy Bears–A Collectible History of the Teddy Bear by Kathy Martin (Parragon, 2007): I enjoyed the author’s unique view of Teddy’s history by giving us a good look at his evolution from a newly created toy in 1902, to becoming a valuable collectible, to his present-day production by innovative teddy bear artists who have elevated him to work-of-art status. This lovely book—destined to become a classic in teddy bear world—is a pleasure to read because of its excellent information, engaging writing style and beautiful pictures.
The False-Hearted Teddy by John J. Lamb (Berkley Prime Crime Mystery, 2007): John Lamb has given teddy bear fanciers a great gift in his series of fun-to-read, clever stories. This is his second in a group of five teddy bear mysteries and follows The Mournful Teddy (2006), featuring the same central characters: a retired, teddy bear-collecting married couple. The setting for this murder mystery is a teddy bear show at a Baltimore hotel. I like the author’s style and authority as he draws on his own experience as a homicide detective to fill out details of his yarns. At the end of his teddy bear mysteries, Lamb profiles a teddy bear artist, which adds further interest for the reader. The third book of this teddy bear series, The Crafty Teddy (available in November), opens with someone taking a shot at Brad Lyon, the main character of the series.
Heart and Soul
T. Bear’s Tale: Hugs Across America by Sue Lucarelli (Old Castle Publishing, 2004): Written for children but delightful for anyone who believes in the noble work of teddy bears, this book is based on true events of 9/11, when a New York City school teacher became “the Bear Lady.” She and three teddy bears comforted children in her class who had seen the World Trade Center horror on their way to school. This account of 58,000 teddy bears collected and given to NYC children so they could have a hug whenever they one was wanted is brightly and beautifully illustrated by Mirto Golino.
For the Young and Young at Heart
In Search of the First Teddy Bear by Myke Feinman (Ink & Feathers Comics, 2002): Called a comic book but similar to a magazine, this book’s creative images are the work of the author’s son, Anthony Feinman; it also includes one large drawing by the author and some artistic use of historical photos. It’s a fantasy story of a Build-A-Bear Workshop teddy who travels back in time on a quest to discover if the first teddy was created by the Steiff family or by Morris and Rose Mitchtom.
J.A. Teddy by John Alfred Rowe (Pengiun Group, 2006): Have you known the heartbreak of a teddy bear who disappeared? Have you ever wondered what has happened to all the lost teddies of the world? This spirited adventure is meant for children and anyone interested in finding out about mysteriously missing teddy bears who have sadly vanished from their owners’ lives. The writer is the illustrator of this bright tale for future generations of teddy-collecting arctophiles.
Ophelia’s English Adventure by Michele Durkson Clise (Clarkson N. Potter Inc., 1987): In this timeless tale for anyone of any age who is fond of teddy bears, the author has effectively enlisted her collection of antique teddies to create a world where a hug of Parisian teddy bear friends find adventure. They are off to England for tea with the queen, but stay to investigate a mystery. The book is filled with charming photos of the bears in a variety of tableaus enhanced by rich fabrics, vintage ribbons and laces, and other items from the past. Ophelia herself is a famous antique teddy bear, reproduced by Steiff, in regular and baby size during the 1980s. This alluring book will be enjoyable for you and your bears.
The Teddy Bear that Prowled at Night by Edna Groff Deihl (Green Tiger Press, 1986; originally 1924): When I came across this new version of a lost, old book I had as a toddler, I was delighted. I recalled the charming illustrations of Mary LeFetre Russell. Later, I bought an original copy of the book, published by Sam’L Gabriel, with out the year and credit for author or illustrator, and called Tiny Teddies. It’s a sweet treasure. Out-of-print and old books are often inexpensive and not too difficult to find. They make great gifts for your teddy bear fancier friends and yourself.
Two More Must-Have Books
Linda Mullins’ Teddy Bear & Friends Identification & Price Guide by Linda Mullins (Hobby House Press, 2000)
The Ultimate Teddy Bear Book by Pauline Cockrill (Dorling Kindersley, 1991)