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Cover image for Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see?
Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see?
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt and Company, c1996, 1967.
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ill. ; 18 cm.
General Note:
On board pages.
Reading Level:
AD 200 L Lexile
Added Author:
Children see a variety of animals, each one a different color, and a mother looking at them.


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A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck-- all parade across the pages of this delightful classic children's book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle's flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin's singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.

Author Notes

Children's writer Bill Martin, Jr. was born and raised in Hiawatha, Kansas. Ironically, the future early childhood educator had difficulty reading until he taught himself, before graduating with a teaching certificate from Emporia State University.

After graduation, he taught high school drama and journalism in Kansas. He served in the Army Air Force as a newspaper editor during World War II. He wrote his first book, The Little Squeegy Bug, for his brother, Bernard, an artist, to illustrate while recuperating from war wounds. It was published in 1945 and the brothers would go on to collaborate on 10 more books by 1955.

He earned a master's degree and doctorate in early childhood education from Northwestern University and became principal of an elementary school in Evanston, Ill., where he developed innovative reading programs. In 1962 Martin moved to New York City to become editor of the school division of Holt, Rhinehart and Winston where he developed the literature-based reading programs Sounds of Language and The Instant Readers.

Martin returned to full-time writing in 1972 and ended up writing over three hundred children's books during his career. His titles include; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?, The Ghost-Eye Tree, Barn Dance, and Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom. He died on August 11, 2004 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Horn Book Review

The contemporary classic, beloved of preschoolers and beginning readers alike, loses nothing in its translation to a board book. Carle's bold, brilliantly colored animals against a white background are still striking, and the simple text is large enough and in a clean enough typeface to be quite readable. From HORN BOOK 1996, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Ages 2-6. First available in 1967 from Holt, Rinehart and Winston's school division, this was again published in 1983 as a trade book [BKL D 1 83]. Brown Bear's popularity has snowballed ever since, as preschool and primary grade teachers spread the word: first, that it's a terrific book for teaching colors and also that, with the whole-language movement taking off, it's a high-interest, beginning reader with rhythm, repetition, and predictability. The new edition offers the original wording, with such minor changes from the 1983 edition as "redbird" to "red bird" and "I see a mother looking at me" to "I see a teacher looking at me." The new illustrations feature crisper lines, bolder colors, and a bit more texture than the originals, making them even more striking. ~--Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-- In this new edition of the popular classic (Holt, 1983), the same clean design and crisp text remain. Illustrations, however, have been slightly altered. Stronger colors and more texture help delineate animal bodies more sharply. Positions and shapes are slightly changed, resulting in a less static look. Red Bird is shown in flying position with a sleeker body, sharper beak, and more carefully defined tail and wing features. Yellow Duck has webbed feet and an open bill; Blue Horse has black hooves and teeth showing; Green Frog a spotted back and pink tongue; the former Mother with pale pink skin has become Teacher with beige skin tones and darker hair. The overall effect is livelier and more interesting, although changes are minimal enough that the old edition is still serviceable. When replacements are in order, this will be a welcome addition. --Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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