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Children's Fiction Body

Bear Has a Belly

by (author) Jane Whittingham

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Body, General, Diversity & Multicultural, Poetry (see also Stories in Verse)
Recommended Age
2 to 5
Recommended Grade
p to k
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


In this multilayered Big, Little Concepts book for preschoolers, explore body parts along with animals and celebrate the differences and similarities of our wonderful bodies

Bear has a belly: a soft, round belly. Bear has a belly. I do too!

Do you have a nose like Fox, cheeks like Squirrel, and a tongue like Frog does? In rhythmic text perfect for an energetic read-aloud, Bear Has a Belly points out Moose’s legs, Otter’s back, and Duck’s feet, inviting little ones to chime in with every body part they share in common. Bright photographs of the animal friends are paired with images of real children of diverse backgrounds and abilities who are joyfully engaging with that body part.

Jane Whittingham, author of Animals Move and A Good Day Ducks, channels her expertise as a children’s librarian into yet another celebration of active preschooler fun. The chant-along text supports pattern recognition for language learning and reading readiness, and a closing spread of enriching age-appropriate activities invite further exploration and learning. The book’s Toddler Tough format with a padded cover, rounded corners, and extra-heavy pages makes it a sturdy choice for endless repetitions of foot-stomping, belly-laughing, body-positive story times.

About the author

Jane Whittingham is a librarian from Burnaby, British Columbia, and earned her Masters of Library and Information Sciences at UBC with an emphasis on children's librarianship and literature. Much like the adventurous main characters in her fiction picture books, Wild One, A Good Day for Ducks, and Queenie Quail Can’t Keep Up, Jane loves to explore. And much like the children photographed in her nonfiction picture book Animals Move, she loves a lively story time!


Jane Whittingham's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Bear Has a Belly

2022 The Children’s Book Council “September: Hot Off the Press” Feature

School Library Journal Fuse 8 “31 Days, 31 Lists: 2022 Great Board Books” Feature

Growing Book by Book “Best Board Books of 2022 for Babies & Toddlers” Feature

“The format, repetition, and neutral observations make this a refreshing title among body books for toddlers and preschoolers…A welcome message of appreciation for human (and animal!) bodies.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This entertaining activity book will work well for one-on-one sharing and as a toddler storytime selection, since it encourages children to shout out the refrain while pointing to the body part being named. Due to the repetition, this title could also serve as a beginning reader for slightly older children.”—Booklist

★ ” What a great book about body parts for the young child! Sharp, vivid closeup photographs of animals and kids demonstrate that they both have ears, eyes, a nose, etc. Simple, sing-song text invites the reader to interact with the book.”—Youth Services Book Review ★ Starred Review

“[W]hen reading this in a lapsit or in a storytime you can make sure the toddlers are pointing to their own faces or hands or ears…. As charming as its cover implies.”—School Library Journal, Fuse 8

“This wildlife themed exploration of bodies and connection will likely delight the youngest readers among us…Overall, Bear Has a Belly is a great book with many tools for families and readers to explore on their reading journey. Highly Recommended”—CM Magazine

“­­This was a darling book filled with vibrant photographs of animals and children. This book is perfect for building a vocabulary of body parts and animals for young children or English language learners…Overall, this book was very cute and made me want to get up and move just like the book demonstrated. Overall rating: 5”—YA Books Central

“I love how Jane Whittingham compares the body parts that animals and humans have in common….The repeating text on each page allows the youngest readers to join in the story and will allow them to access the book independently at an earlier age, plus who can resist the pictures of the cutest little animals and children!”—Storytime with Stephanie

“In another of her outstanding books for very young children, Jane Whittingham turns her attention to body parts and their comparisons to nine familiar animals. Repetitive text and bright full-color photographs are ideal for upping the interest while sharing this informative book…. If this is your first Jane Whittingham book, be on the lookout for more….You will not be disappointed.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“This beautifully executed board book will make children familiar with wildlife, with names of body parts and also create a deeper awareness of our connectedness with nature.”—The International Educator

“In the Parental Guide, author Jane Whittingham offers tips and tricks to make this “toddler tough” picture book from Pajama Press interactive…”—Book Time

“This adorable book is perfect for young readers who are learning their body parts….This book is sure to be a favorite with young readers.”—Kids Book Buzz

Other titles by Jane Whittingham

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