Between 1958 and 1975 Dick Bruna won many awards for his posters – especially those he designed for the Black Bear pocket editions. He won these awards for the quality of his graphic design and for his skill as a designer and illustrator. It was not until 1990 that he began winning awards for his children's book illustrations and texts. He won the Golden Brush Award for the illustrations in "boris bear" in 1990, the Silver Brush Award for the illustrations in "miffy in the tent" in 1996 and the Silver Slate Award for the text in "dear grandma bunny" in 1997. In 2016, Dick Bruna was awarded the Max Velthuijs Prize, an oeuvre award for children's book illustrators, presented once every three years.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands also bestowed royal honours on Dick Bruna on two occasions. In 1983, he was decorated as a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau and in 2001 he was decorated as Knight Commander in the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, the highest honour that can be bestowed on a civilian in the Netherlands.