Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Story Snug
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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? is a colourful first book for babies, a great book for a beginner reader and I have also read the English version many times to non native English speaking children.

The Story: Brown Bear is asked what he sees and he responds by saying that he sees a red bird. The red bird sees a yellow duck and so the book moves on introducing a new animal and a new colour on each page until a goldfish sees a teacher who sees children. The children then see all the coloured animals that have been introduced throughout the book.

Eric Carle’s bold, trademark illustrations enhance the repetitive, rhythmic text in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? Each double page spread shows a brightly coloured animal until we meet the teacher and her class at the end of the book when the final page shows all the animals on the double page. The simplicity, repetitive text and bold colours make it a perfect book for babies but the repetition is also good for a beginner reader. The eye catching colour of the animal on a white page provides a simple and uncluttered look for a baby but is also a great picture prompt for a new reader.

This book is a great book for introducing colour and animal vocabulary to babies, young children and non native English speakers. I have read the big version of the book countless times (it is a particularly good book to use in an EFL classroom) and the repetitive text invites the listener to join in. The double spread showing the children provides lots of scope for discussion about eye colour, hair colour and skin colour as children from a variety of cultural backgrounds are represented. As a beginner reader my daughter has rediscovered the book and I have written out some of the sentences and cut them up so that she can read the words, stick them in order then draw her own picture of the animal.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? comes in several formats. We have the little board book but I love the big book version for reading to a class.

Age Range: 1 +

Author: Bill Martin Jr / Illustrator: Eric Carle

I have also used Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? in the classroom. It follows the same format as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?


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22 responses to “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle”


  1. Ali avatar

    My sons loved Eric Carle books and this was their favourite, it’s a great one for teaching colours as well.


    1. Catherine avatar

      I’ve often used Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for teaching colours to non English speakers.


  2. Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews avatar

    That’s funny – I looked at the book and immediately said Eric Carle, but I didn’t realize that he didn’t write the text. Was this one of his earlier books? He has such a distinctive style, doesn’t he. My kids and I have read all of his books. They are fanastic! Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop.


  3. Iona@redpeffer avatar

    I like Eric Carle-such bold illustrations that really appeal visually. You’re right about it working for an EFL setting-I can see how that would work very well.


    1. Catherine avatar

      Many of Eric Carle’s books are great for an EFL setting, they work especially well if the child already knows the book in their native language.


  4. chantelle hazelden avatar

    Love Eric Carle books. So simple yet so effective. Brillant 🙂 thanks for linking up with #readwithme x


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s amazing how many books Eric Carle has written, I haven’t read all of them and it was a long time before I realised that he only illustrated this book and that Bill Martin Jr is the author.


  5. Katie @ Youth Literature Reviews avatar

    What a lovely piece about such a delightful book. I’ve always loved this book but I haven’t thought about it much recently. Now I need to add it to my daughter’s library asap! Thanks for sharing your review with all of us at the Kid Lit Blog Hop!


    1. Catherine avatar

      I hope your daughter enjoys it 🙂


  6. My Life As A Mummy avatar
    My Life As A Mummy

    We have this somewhere! I must go and find it out! I love this book!

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x xx


    1. Catherine avatar

      Brown Bear, Brown Bear is the kind of book that can be put away and brought out again for another stage of a child’s literacy development. Happy reading!


  7. Leigh - Headspace Perspective avatar

    Cute, reminds me of a book I read when I was little 🙂 #weekendbloghop


    1. Catherine avatar

      Thanks for visiting Story Snug Leigh 🙂


  8. Christine M. (Cool Mom) - Tech Support for Stanley & Katrina avatar

    This is a fantastic newborn gift. We still have it – eleven years later and it is one of those books that becomes a comfort book as you grow older. Love it. We have the little board book version, and we are big fans of Eric Carle. Thanks for sharing on the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Have a paw-tastic weekend.


    1. Catherine avatar

      We have the board book version too. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? is definitely a keeper 🙂


  9. Lisa Day avatar

    My son has started French immersion. It sounds like it would be a great book if translated into French. I will have to check it out.

    LisaDay


    1. Catherine avatar

      Please let me know if you find a French version. I had a look but couldn’t find one.


  10. Barbara Ann Mojica avatar

    One of my favorites…..such a wonderful story and rhyme!


  11. Mary Bruder avatar

    It’s my first time to hop in the kid lit blog hop!


    1. Catherine avatar

      The Kid Lit Blog Hop is a great place to discover new blogs 🙂


  12. Zoe avatar

    Ah…. the memories. This was the first book I bought my then unborn first child 🙂 And I still love it!


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a lovely present for a newborn and I love that fact that my daughter has rediscovered her copy 🙂

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