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Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (Bill Martin's Bears #2)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  43,727 Ratings  ·  535 Reviews
What will you hear when you read this book to a preschool child?

Lots of noise!

Children will chant the rhythmic words. They'll make the sounds the animals make. And they'll pretend to be the zoo animals featured in the book-- look at the last page!

Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle are two of the most respected names in children's education and children's illustrations. This co
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 15th 1991 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published January 28th 1982)
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise BrownGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussMoo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra BoyntonBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Books for two-year-old children
45th out of 280 books — 232 voters
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.Pete the Cat by Eric LitwinThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleBark, George by Jules FeifferFrom Head to Toe by Eric Carle
How to rock toddler storytime
266th out of 329 books — 187 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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D. Pow
Jul 30, 2009 D. Pow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brendan-s-shelf
The key to reading this one out loud is getting into character as the animals. You've got to roar like a lion, growl like a polar Bear and hiss like a Boa Constricter. You've got to commit, go Old school Stanislavski like a young Brando. Be the frigging snake. Be the Bear. little Ones Dig it. And when you are phoning in the performance they will know that too. THEY WILL MAKE YOU PAY. So don't phone it in.

I think one key to Carle's success is his his wonderfully inventive and eye-pleasing palette
5 stars for Eric Carle's art.
1 star for Bill Martin Jr.'s words.
= a grudging average of 3 stars.

I tried, D. I fully committed to the animals, man. I was like Robert deNiro shooting heroin for Raging Bull. I gained weight to play the purple walrus (how the hell am I going to lose it?). I painted myself with gentian violet, grew a handlebar mustache, jammed a couple of carrots under my lip and flopped around grunting.

I poured honey all over myself and rolled in flour to play the titular Polar Bear
Jazzmarie Vedrine
This book is exciting to read and while reading, you may find that the characters of the animals create a rhythmic sound. You could easily create a melody or make this book into your own sing-a-long that will engage the children into the characters and movement of these zoo animals. The words written on each page are catchy, easy to read and easy to remember for young children. Another thing is the bold colors and the different designs and shapes of these animals.

One of the
Apr 23, 2012 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? Is a fabulous book for getting children used to rhythmic words. I have read this book lots of time to children and they always enjoy repeating the story with me. It is very good in encouraging drama and role-play skills; I have used it in a cross-curricular way incorporating it in a PE lesson getting the children to pretend that that they are the different animals in the story, and to move around like them. The pages in the story are mostly taken up by s ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Kat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, picture-books
Basic plot: animals and the sounds they make.

Ok, Eric Carle's art is interesting, but I don't find it to be phenomenal. There are some good words in the text to describe the sounds animals make, but they are hard to reproduce when reading to a small child if you've never actually heard the sounds in question. Matter of fact, I would have rated this a solid 2 and moved on, BUT... my son picked up on the pattern of the pages and started chiming in to read the story with me after just a few pages.
E: "I don't like how it's kind of like a song."
May 09, 2015 Jaylyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal Reaction: A great beginners books! Another one of my favorite books growing up, I believe these types of beginners books are awesome because they have lasted for so many years that it makes me as a teacher really want to have students read them. Students anywhere from 4 to 5 or 6 would enjoy this book.

Reading in groups: This book could be fun to read in a group because it is asking a question. This could get the students involved and have them asking their neighbor what they think the P
If my 2-yr-old rated this he'd give it a 5. But he can't type so I'm giving it a 3. Love the illustrations. The "hear" part was a bit weird for me - "I hear a boa constrictor hissing at me", or whatever animal making whatever noise. Weird, but I can deal. I can't deal with the end. I hate it. The zookeeper then hears all these kids making the animal noises and they're dressed up like the animals, sort of. It's freaky. And my son looks at those strange kids and wonders what the heck they're doing ...more
Jennifer Hadley
Aug 29, 2016 Jennifer Hadley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-learning
This is a nice book for pre-k classrooms. It teaches about the animals noises. It has great repetition so that the students can join in on the reading. The illustration are nice and colorful, as well. Children will love to memorize this one and read it over and over again!
Sep 26, 2015 Aaliyah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aaliyah requested that we read, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear," so I got this book, and, "Baby Bear, Baby Bear," too. She loves them all! :)
Dec 09, 2012 Kirran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a range of zoo animals and their distinctive sounds.The polar bears can hear a roaring lion. The lion can hear a hippopotamus snorting in his ear.The hippopotamus can hear a flamingo fluting in his ear. The flamingo can hear a zebra braying in his ear. The sounds are being imitated by the children for the zoo keeper.

This book is ideal for nursery children.It is repetitive and contains rhyme.The text is very simple so it is easy for the children to memorize it. The book also p
Annette Taylor-james
In this book the children love to make the sound of each animal, it teaches language skills and motor skills we pretend to be all the animals in the book roaring and stomping and all the other actions and sounds that goes with each animals. We did our own adaptations.
Evie Milburn
Title: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Author: Bill Martin Jr
Illustrator: Eric Carle
Genre: Predictable Book
Theme(s): Animals, Animal Noises, Repetition, Zoos
Opening line/sentence: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear?
Brief Book Summary: This predictable book is about various animals in the zoo hearing the other animals making noises. Each animal is making a different noise and hears a different animal making a different noise.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Marilyn Courtot
Feb 10, 2015 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Synopsis: "A new edition of this all-time favorite children’s tale to delight children and parents alike. Bill Martin’s playful story introduces a parade of rowdy zoo animals, all illustrated in Eric Carle’s instantly recognisable, clean, crisp style. A perfect addition to this fun, noisy tale is a ten button sound panel. As each new animal appears on the bright, colorful pages, children will love to find, then press the right button to hear the noises that the braying zebra, roaring lion, fluti ...more
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? was another staple in the Meredith household. This was all well and good for my brother and I because our mother loves reading aloud and loves being goofy even more. Reading aloud and goofy are two musts when reading the book. As always, Eric Carle's illustrations are great. They're bright, colorful, and attention grabbing all of which adds variety to the predictable pattern of the book. Bill Martin Jr.'s pattern in the text is what makes this such a fun ...more
Gounah Choi
Nov 25, 2015 Gounah Choi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scienc, literacy
This book starts with the narration asking a polar bear a question about what he hears. The polar bear answers that he hears a lion roar. Then the narration asks the lion what he hears. The pattern of asking the same questions to different animals and getting answers continues until end of the book. At the last page of the book, the narration summarizes different sounds that all zoo animals make from the perspective of a zoo keeper. This book illustrates various zoo animals through bright colors ...more
Savannah Work
Mar 30, 2014 Savannah Work rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: authors
"Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?" is a great book to use when teaching a child color concepts. There are multiple activities that can be done using this book, it could be used to teach children about different animals as well. Because of the way the book is written, it is easy for children to catch on and read along with the teacher, it's also easy to remember.

Facts about the author:Bill Martin Jr. was born in 1916 and died in 2004. For over 60 years Bill Martin Jr. wrote children's b
Lori Nii-amassah
I believe “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” is a book that all children will love. The colors used are vibrant and eye catching. With each new animal introduced, the same question is repeated. Children can participate by asking the question and making the animal sounds.

You could extend this book by having the children work together to put story pieces in the correct order according to the book.
Feb 27, 2016 Justine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Author: Bill Martin Jr.
Illustrations: Eric Carle
Genre: Predictable Book
Theme: Animals, Communication
Opening line: "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?"

This book is a predictable book about the polar bear venturing through and listening to each animal's cry/call.

Professional Review #1:
Moira Small says, "What a spectacular picture book! Eric Carle, a master pattern painter, provides stunning animal illustrations to match a question an
John Cruz
Sep 16, 2015 John Cruz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is amazing, but is a little bland. This is a pattern book which uses a lot of sight words and verbal sounds to creatively get new readers to read. I can definitely see where this book would appeal to a beginning reader, for its beautiful colors, simple sentence structure, and catchy repetition. I only have one problem with this book. At one point in the book it reads "Zebra, Zebra what do you hear?" the zebra answers, telling whomever that they hear a boa constrictor hissing in ...more
Caleb has been reading this in preschool so we have obtained a copy for ourselves. What can I say it is Bill Martin? I love his work!!! It is simple, easy to read, and both my children love him. I read him when I was growing up and I am sure my grandchildren will be as well. You can take so much from these books just besides reading but art crafts, but cooking and other fun things to do.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. describes the different sounds that different animals make. Martin uses the same line sequence over and over to create a repetitive rhythm. This repetitive rhythm is great for very young readers to be able to learn these words that are repeated over and over. At the end of the book, the author repeats all the animals one last time, but dressed as humans in animal costumes. I think that this is a very enjoyable book for young children, ...more
Salima Sikandar
Feb 16, 2014 Salima Sikandar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eric-carle
Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle are two of the most respected names who has created another masterpiece story for pre-school kids called as “Polar Bear Polar Bear, What do you hear?” The book is made in rhythmic style with animals sounds usually are in the animals Zoo. The style of words written are easy and appealing to read and the lines are easy to remember for young children.
This book may help young children to get familiar and recognize animals through distinctive sound. Apart from it, they
Elijah Adams
Jul 04, 2016 Elijah Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear by Bill Martin Jr. is a book about the different sounds animals make. It lists the animals page by page along with the verb used to describe the noise they make. It is a very helpful informational book that can be used to expand children's vocabulary and help them learn the differences between sounds animals make. For example, this book shows children that zebras do not neigh like horses but instead they bray. Flamingos do not chirp but instead flute. It ...more
Jun 27, 2013 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, listening
This Bill Martin Jr. Is great for working with young children's listening skills! I have always enjoyed reading this story in a soft, quiet voice so that the children can focus on what they're hearing and need to listen for in the story's sequence.
Feb 17, 2014 Dominique rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this story because it takes a familiar children’s story and teaches a new concept to children. Children are no longer trying to see they now want to hear. I also love that they didn’t use animals that most children would find familiar this helps open up to learning about animals they maybe didn’t know existed.
Learning experience: Use Polar Bear, Polar Bear book as a model for writing our own classroom book title it “What do you Hear?” Take Polaroid pictures of each of the student, frame t

This story tells about Polar bear and asking him for something he hear around him. Children will pretend to be the zoo animals and they make some noise that is the sound the animals make. Some questions like what do you hear? I hear a hippopotamus!~ What do you hear? I hear a zebra!.. I hear a elephant. I hear leopard. I hear peacock....
This is a very good book that reads aloud for children with nice color illustrate-picture. Children learn how to recognize about the distinctive sound of animal
Jan 17, 2014 Deja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
Review: I like reading this book because I love the illustration in the book which is Eric Carle I love how in my eyes the pictures could be consider three d in my eyes. And if you ready the book like how it is suppose to be read how many different sounds each animals makes as you hear them. My niece enjoy when I made the sounds as I asked what do you hear.

Learning Experience: The learning experience would be us picking a topic on a animal which polar would be out animal. I would ask the class
Kelly Ramsey
Jan 20, 2014 Kelly Ramsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-sences
Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle are two of the best children authors ever. This book talked about colors and different animals. It reminds me of visiting zoo Atlanta. However, do to the sounds that the animal makes, the children will be able to match picture with sound. about the sounds that different animals make. The children as well will learn about patterning and sequencing from brown bear brown bear.This could be use on use animal life, colors, or the five senses.

Lyndsey Wells
Jun 08, 2016 Lyndsey Wells rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This text develops a well organized sequence for young learners to catch on quickly. It is interactive in the way that children are able to recite the sounds that animals way. The text can be decomposed as the teacher stretches and points to each sound that an animal is making. This strategy places an emphasis on vowel sounds, constant sounds, and blends while providing a visual to young learners. The text is simple enough to place an emphasis on the sounds, rather than the complexities of a sto ...more
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Bill Martin, Jr. (1916-2004) was an elementary-school principal, teacher, writer, and poet. His more than 300 books, among them the bestselling classics Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See; Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear; Panda Bear Panda Bear What Do You See; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, are a testament to his ability to speak directly to children. Martin held a doctoral degree in early ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Bill Martin's Bears (4 books)
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
  • Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?

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