Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?



Classic delights tykes with bright colors, gentle rhymes.

What parents need to know

Educational value
The repetitive text reinforces patterning, color concepts, and animal names.
Positive messages

There's an implied message that being observant about the world around you and identifying animals and colors is fun.

Positive role models

Brown Bear and the other animals are curious as they exolore their world.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the repetitive structure of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? helps teach colors to very young children and encourages pre-readers to "read" along with the simple text. 

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What's the story?

This picture book begins with an illustration of a large brown bear and the question: \"What do you see?\" On the next page, there's a colorful bird and the answer: \"I see a red bird looking at me.\" And what does the red bird see? Children need to turn the page to find out, finally ending in a classroom full of children -- who are also many different colors.

Is it any good?

First published in 1967, BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE? is beloved for its brightly colored art by Eric Carle and simple, rhyming text by Bill Martin Jr. The repetitive structure makes it a perfect read-aloud with very young children, who delight in guessing what animal comes next. The lines are easy to memorize, encouraging even toddlers to "read" along. Pre-readers can practice identifying color and animal words. And the simple structure provides plenty of opportunities for parents and children to talk about the animals and make up different storylines.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about colors. Let kids name the color on each page, and point out other colors you see -- the green eyes on the cat, for example, or the yellow duck's pink feet.
  • Ask your kid to identify realistic animals (such as the white dog) and more fanciful ones (the blue horse). Encourage kids to make their own animal art, using whatever colors they wish.
  • Get out the crayons and drawing paper and help your kid create in a book patterned on Brown Bear, Brown Bear, but featuring animals your kid wants to include.


Book details

Author:Bill Martin Jr.
Illustrator:Eric Carle
Topics:Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
Publication date:September 15, 1996
Number of pages:26
Publisher's recommended age(s):2 - 5
Read aloud:2 - 6
Read alone:5 - 6
Available on:Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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