For read-aloud or readers ages 4 – 8

Illustrated by Chris Bivins

Recipient of a 2001 Henry Bergh Children’s
Book Honor by the American Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).


New neighbors mean new friends for a boy who lives deep in the forest. But when animals start turning up in odd places, young Zack discovers the wisdom of leaving space for his old friends – furred, feathered, and fanged – as well as his new ones. Endorsed by wildlife experts and supplemented by a Free Parents' & Teachers' Guide.


  • “Very highly recommended for family, school, and community library children's book collections. Chris Bivins' vividly colored illustrations are a perfect showcase for Joni Sensel 's lively, original, and imaginative story.”
    - Children's Bookwatch

  • “The perfect resource. Wonderfully illustrated.”
    - American Humane Association

  • “This zany rhyming book stresses an important point in a way that entertains as much as educates. A wonderful book… worth adding to your shelf.”
    - National Association for Humane & Environmental Education

  • “A wonderful book, with rhyme and story reminiscent of Shel Silverstein and an important message. It is really in a class with many environmental education classics as an ageless work.”
    - Maggie Wolfe, Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education

This book is perfect for:

  • Kids who love animals
  • Families who enjoy hikes in the woods
  • Parents who'd like to inspire an environmental ethic while still keeping children safe

Download free Bears Barge In art to color.

A friend and I were talking about all the new houses being built on nearby hillsides, and he wondered where all the animals had gone. I'd also heard news reports about bears walking into town and about deer being discovered trapped in people's kitchens and bathrooms. The combination sparked Bears Barge In .

Adults -
buy a copy now for someone special.

ISBN: 0-9701195-0-X (10 digit)
978-0-9701195-0-6 (13 digit)
32 pages, full-color