BooksSoft & Plush ToysStuffed Animals

The Best Children’s Picture Books about Stuffed Animals


Stuffed animals are not just a soft, cute and cuddly toys for children to play with, but can engage and entertain children too. Role playing your child’s stuffed animals to tell stories can help to make kid’s books like ‘The Animals would not Sleep!’, ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’, ‘Hooray for Amanda & her Alligator!’, ‘Lionheart’ or ‘Corduroy’ come to life.

Sharing a story with a cuddly stuffed animal, teddy bear or doll can help to encourage your child’s reading and develop communication and vocabulary skills. A much loved stuffed animal or soft toy could be the perfect learning companion for children to practice their reading and storytelling skills. And if your child has an interest in the animal kingdom, then children’s books that feature a stuffed animals theme are the perfect book to entertain them.

We’ve compiled a selection of some our favorite story books for children featuring soft and cuddly soft toys and stuffed animals. Children can experience story time together with their favourite toy and take them along on their imaginative adventures as they turn the pages of these stuffed toy theme children’s books.

Tell Me About Your Day Today

Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Lauren Stringer

A boy and his favorite stuffed animals share their days with one another in this cozy bedtime picture book from Mem Fox.

There was once a boy who loved bedtime. What could be more wonderful than sharing bedtime with beloved friends? The little boy in this gentle and fun story loves to talk to his stuffed animals each evening and share with them all the things that happened to him that day—and to hear about their days, too. From bestselling author Mem Fox and award-winning illustrator Lauren Stinger, here is a celebration of imagination, play, friendship, and coziness certain to touch a chord with young children everywhere.

The Animals Would Not Sleep!

Written by Sara Levine and illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens

Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling! It’s bedtime for Marco and his stuffed animals, but the animals have other ideas. When Marco tries to put them away, they fly, swim, and slither right out of their bins! Can Marco sort the animals so everyone is happy? A playful exploration of sorting and classifying that combines math with empathy. The perfect bedtime book, featuring Latinx characters and a note about scientific classification.


Written by Tom Lichtenheld and illustrated by Julie Rowan-Zoch

A beloved teddy can bear it no longer and plots his escape from his owner’s suffocating affections in this laugh-out-loud picture book from New York Times best-selling creator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Steam Train Dream Train fame, Tom Lichtenheld.

Louis the bear has had enough. From day one, life has been one indignity after another. If he’s not being used as a hankie, he’s being hung out to dry—literally. (No one likes clothespins used on their ears!) This teddy is sneaking away just as soon as he can. Then again, no use running off in the rain . . .or during a show-and-tell routine. Maybe Louis has something to lose, after all.

This fresh and funny take on a teddy bear come to life is a salty and sweet, grumpy and tender, sly tribute to the ties that bind.

The Velveteen Rabbit: Or How Toys Become Real

Written by Margery Williams and illustrated by Gareth Llewhellin

A timeless classic that has been treasured for generations—this edition features the original story with heartwarming illustrations. Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always. At first a brand-new toy, now a threadbare and discarded nursery relic, the velveteen rabbit is saved from peril by a magic fairy who whisks him away to the idyllic world of Rabbitland. There, he becomes “”Real,”” a cherished childhood companion who will be loved for eternity. This wondrous tale of the velveteen rabbit has delighted readers of all ages with its story of transformation and redemption through a child’s unwavering love.

Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!

Written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Having a stuffed alligator for a best friend can be surprising. Sometimes Amanda surprises her alligator with books. Sometimes Alligator surprises Amanda by eating them. But what happens when Amanda brings home a special—and not entirely welcome—surprise? The result might be unexpected indeed. Beloved author-illustrator Mo Willems has created a funny and tender portrait of friendship that readers of any age will love.


Written by Don Freeman

Don Freeman’s classic character, Corduroy, is even more popular today then he was when he first came on the scene in 1968. This story of a small teddy bear waiting on a department store shelf for a child’s friendship has appealed to young readers generation after generation.


Written by Richard Collingridge

Get transported to a lush, vibrant jungle in this gorgeously illustrated picture book about facing your fears. Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn’t wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.

Henry & Leo

Written by Pamela Zagarenski

Leo isn’t just a stuffed toy, he is Henry’s best friend and brother. He is as real as a tree, a cloud, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the wind. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry’s family believes Leo is real enough to find his way home. With beautiful mixed-media paintings, the Caldecott Honor–winning artist Pamela Zagarenski explores the transcendent nature of friendship and love.

Turtle and Me

Written by Robie Harris and illustrated by Tor Freeman

This charming story details the beautiful friendship between a boy and his plush toy turtle.

Turtle and Me is a charming story about the adventures a little boy has with his cuddly toy turtle. Over the years, Turtle gets covered in spaghetti, splattered by mud, chewed by a puppy, and much more—but the boy still loves him. Turtle has become his security blanket, as well as his best friend. But one day Turtle suffers a horrible rip that the boy can’t repair. The boy decides he doesn’t need his old chewed up, sewn up, taped up, ripped up ragggedy turtle anymore. But when he tries to sleep at night, he begins to think otherwise!

Little Fox in the Forest

Written and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

When a young girl brings her beloved stuffed fox to the playground, much to her astonishment, a real fox takes off with it! The girl chases the fox into the woods with her friend, the boy, following close behind, but soon the two children lose track of the fox. Wandering deeper and deeper into the forest, they come across a tall hedge with an archway. What do they find on the other side? A marvelous village of miniature stone cottages, tiny treehouses, and, most extraordinary of all, woodland creatures of every shape and size. But where is the little fox? And how will they find him?

Bun Bun Button

Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Paige loves cuddling with Gramma and all of Gramma’s pets in the Old Blue Chair. And when Gramma makes her Bun Bun Button, an adorable homemade stuffed bunny with a button nose, this special time becomes even more cozy. Then a balloon carries the little bunny away. Bun Bun braves honking geese and a wide night sky, until luck – or love – magically brings her back home to the little girl who loves her.

This heartwarming story celebrates the special bond between grandparents and grandchildren, and is perfect for children who imagine their toys have secret adventures when no one’s watching.

Disney Junior: Doc McStuffins Little Golden Book Bubble-rific!

Written by Andrea Posner-Sanchez and illustrated by RH Disney

Bubble Monkey doesn’t know the proper way to wipe or blow her nose, so bubble solution is getting on all the other toys. Luckily, Doc McStuffins is there to teach a lesson in hygiene! Little boys and girls will love this Little Golden Book retelling an episode from the popular Disney Junior series Doc McStuffins.

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How do Comfort Objects and Transitional Objects Help your Child’s Development?


Stuffed animals, soft toys, teddy bears, dolls, pacifiers and security blankets are all comfort objects that offer emotional support and can do more than just help young children fall asleep.

Here we’ll explore how these soft and cuddly friends are so essential for a child’s development.

What is a Transitional Object?

A comfort object, also called a transitional object can be a stuffed animal, soft toy, teddy bear, doll or security blanket. It’s an item that is used to provide psychological comfort, during new or uncomfortable situations or at bedtime for children. These huggable, snuggly toys are often given nicknames and are used to soothe the child during a transitional phase and can often become a child’s best friend.

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The Role in Child Development

In childhood development these transitional objects take the place of the mother-child bond. Comforting items can give the child a sense of security and peace of mind when the mother is not around. These comforting objects essentially become an emotional support system, offering reassurance to a child facing separation anxiety or an uncertain situation. Meeting a new babysitter, going to daycare or preschool, sleeping in a new bed and other new experiences are all common situations whereby a transitional object can help comfort and soothe the child.

Dr. Donald Woods Winnicott was a pediatrician and psychoanalyst that coined the term ‘transitional object’ in 1953. Dr. Winnicott wanted parents and caregivers to understand how truly meaningful comfort objects were to a child and their development. The doctor drew attention to the importance of a child choosing their own transitional object, and explained that a comfort object represents a connection between the mother or primary caregiver and the external world.

The use of a transitional object may seem insignificant in a child’s play, but is a really an important tool in child development.

Practical Tips for Using a Comfort Object

A comfort or transitional object can be used with children as early as 4-6 months of age or as late as 2-3 years of age.

You can encourage a healthy relationship with your child’s chosen comfort object by placing it near your child whenever they are feeling upset or anxious.

When your child begins to turn to the comfort object for a sense of security and comfort, remember that it’s a healthy move towards independence. Your child is learning that they can feel safe in the world even when the parent or caregiver isn’t around. Some see the child clinging to a comfort object as a sign of weakness or insecurity, but in reality it’s a healthy sign of independence and emotional development.

If it’s possible, own two of your child’s comfort object. If the item needs washing, you have another clean one available to comfort your little one. Similarly, if it gets lost or misplaced, you have a spare on hand to ease the pain.

Never take away a child’s comfort object as a form of punishment if they misbehave. This will only cause the child more anxiety.

Don’t be concerned if your child keeps their comfort object longer than you expect necessary. Adults all over the world hold onto their childhood toys, dolls, stuffed animals and security blankets. A Build-A-Bear Workshop study in 2017 revealed that four in ten Americans still sleep with a teddy bear at night.

Comfort Objects in Pop Culture

The security blanket became popular with the character, Linus van Pelt, who carried around his ‘security and happiness blanket’ in the Peanuts comic strip featuring Charlie Brown and Lucy, created by Charles M. Schultz.

Comfort objects have appeared regularly in children’s entertainment over the years. Igglepiggle is a blue teddy bear like creature from the preschool children’s television In the Night Garden that carries around a red blanket wherever he goes. Peppa Pig‘s little brother, George, often seeks comfort from his dinosaur toy in his possession, called ‘Mr. Dinosaur’.

Sesame Street’s autistic character, Julia, loves her stuffed toy named Fluffster and is often comforted by the bunny rabbit doll, especially when she’s feeling anxious or upset. In the Sesame Street film, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Elmo loves his fuzzy blue blanket more than anything, and when it’s stolen he sets out on an epic adventure to retrieve his cherished blanket.

In the movie, The Producers, Leo Bloom keeps himself calm from panic attacks, carrying his childhood blue blanket everywhere he goes.

As you can see comfort objects are widely used in society and serve an important purpose in the development of children.

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What Are the Benefits of Cloth Books for Infants and Babies?


Soft books start young kids off with storytelling, sensory, verbal, and pre-reading skills. A cloth book is suitable from birth and helps to develop your babies sensory skills with pages filled with different textures and interactive features and offers many benefits to support your baby’s learning and development.

Stimulate the Senses

Cloth books for babies are more than just a standard reading book. These touch and feel soft books are sensory toys, designed to stimulate the senses of your little one. Packed with bright and colourful imagery and interactive elements, the cloth pages of the book are filled with different textures, peek a boo flaps to lift and reveal images and sound components with their crinkle pages, squeakers, rattles and chimes to stimulate the auditory senses too.

Keep Babies Entertained

Soft cloth books are interactive toys, designed to keep babies entertained and engaged. With their vibrant colours, patterns, fun imagery, crinkle pages, peek a boo flaps to lift and playful squeakers, soft cloth books will entertain for hours as babies turn the pages again and again to explore the sensory elements of the book.

Supports Early Development

Reading books with children at any age can help their learning and development, especially reading and comprehension skills. A cloth book will often be your child’s first book and is the first opportunity to build and develop their language skills, social skills and motor skill. Babies are never too young to start learning.

Develop Fine Motor Skills

Grabbing the soft book, turning the book’s cloth pages and interacting with the different textures, peek a boo flaps and squeakers can help baby to develop their tactile, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Fine motor development from playing with soft books helps your baby learn to pick up the book, use both hands together, and will become more skilled at controlling their hands during their daily play.

Soft Books are Safe

Soft books are designed for babies and undergo strict safety testing to ensure your baby is playing with baby toys that are safe. Babies and toddlers can play with these books safely due to the soft fabric pages. These books are durable and can be used time and time again.

Bond with Baby

It’s never too early to start reading to your baby. Enjoying an interactive soft book together provides an engaging way to bond with your baby as they play and learn. Reading and playing with a soft book with your baby not only encourages social development, but it will also strengthen the bond you share together. Cloth books are fun and educational baby toys that will not only entertain and educate your infant, but allow you to spend precious time with baby and make special memories together.

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Doll Play Teaches Children Valuable Emotional and Social Skills


Playing with dolls is more than just playtime fun. Dolls can provide a unique opportunity to help children to practice social interactions that are important for developing social and emotional skills, such as empathy.

Social and emotional skills are essential for connecting with others and help us to manage our emotions, build healthy relationships, and feel empathy for each other. These abilities are important skills that children will carry through their whole lives. Parents can support their child’s social and emotional development by ensuring their toys and playthings provide value in play, with toys like dolls that build on these valuable skills.

In a study ‘Exploring the Benefits of Doll Play Through Neuroscience’ collaborated by Mattel’s Barbie® and neuroscientists from Cardiff University, the impact that doll play has on children was explored. The research revealed that as a child engages in pretend play while playing with dolls even by themselves, neural regions in the brain are activated that allow children to develop empathy and social skills.

“What’s really exciting about this is that doll play has benefits and they’re not about pairing necessarily,” said Sarah Gerson, a developmental neuroscientist and senior lecturer at Cardiff University who oversaw the study. “They are about these social skills that are important for a variety of really broad domains.”

Solo play with dolls can elicit this type of effect because dolls “naturally encourage children to create their own social worlds,” Gerson said. Playing with dolls encourages children to recreate situations from their lives and create stories with their imaginations and role play out scenarios to act out.

The study found that playing with dolls help children to develop nurturing social skills like empathy that can prepare children for the future and enhance their emotional, academic and social success. You can read more about the study exploring the benefits of doll play and its findings here.

Leading empathy expert, writer, and educational psychologist, Dr. Michele Borba said: “The latest scientific findings from Cardiff University and Barbie are extraordinary and so relevant to the times we are living, given the limited social interaction our children can have. It’s been shown that children who have developed empathy and social skills early in life can have better grades, stay in school longer and make healthier choices overall. Empathetic children might also be more likely to stand up for a child being bullied and try to engage and resolve the conflict. Understanding that kids can help develop these skills through playing with dolls like Barbie, is remarkable and a helpful tool for parents.”