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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

(Bill Martin's Bears #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  156,991 ratings  ·  3,779 reviews
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 book. 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. ...more
Board book, 25th Anniversary Edition, 24 pages
Published September 15th 1996 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 1967)
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Pam Miller The perfect book for ages 2-6 Author Bill Martin, Jr. 's words form a pattern, a rhythm for the listener and easy words for a young reader. The words …moreThe perfect book for ages 2-6 Author Bill Martin, Jr. 's words form a pattern, a rhythm for the listener and easy words for a young reader. The words form a question, so what curious child would not turn the page?
Illustrator Eric Carle presents familiar animals, children, and a mother in the story with recognizable shapes, bright, flat colors that remind me of a coloring book. The bold, but natural, illustrations are sure to be memorable to the child, as are the words.(less)
Dottie Ramsey You can’t read books on Goodreads. You can buy the book on Amazon or as an ebook, or borrow it from a library

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  156,991 ratings  ·  3,779 reviews

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Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Subtexts: perspective, surveillance, paranoia!

I had to read this aloud maybe a hundred nights in a row before I noticed what the text was plainly saying: everyone thinks they are being watched! And ironically, they are the ones doing the watching! From the titular brown bear who is certain that the red bird is watching him/her, each animal is watching an animal and projecting that the very animal they watch, is watching them!

In reality, none of the projected watching is happening. Each animal is
Jan 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with children
Shelves: picture-books
Many people may not like this book or think it is too simple a book, not really a story. I think this is a great book. My children love it. It is a perfect book for young children who are just starting to learn letters, their sounds, and words. It is also a great book for those children who may not be great readers. When I taught first grade, I had a few students who weren't able to read. Their confindence level was low and we had a really hard time finding good books that they were able to read ...more
Sep 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Justin Smith and chimpanzees
Recommended to Jfk by: Pilar
Terrible characterization. Blue Horse? What the heck is that!? The plot is monotonous and dull. And the ending...a montage of scenes from the book, and not even a good one! The only thing I can say in its favor is that you can probably get through it in a couple of days.
I still (and yes, even years later) cannot even remotely fathom that Bill Martin Junior's classic and universally beloved by young children Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was actually and in fact categorically banned in 2010 by the State Board of Education in Texas because its (and not really sorry at all or feeling in any manner contrite about being insulting and denigrating here) obviously woefully lacking in even basic intelligence members (and in particular board member Pat Harding ...more
4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️This is a cute and creative book. My niece likes to skip some pages and then go back, then skip and go back. She loves the tabs she gets to pull. She is learning how to wait for her queue to pull them still. Eh, she’ll get there. She’s not even 1.5 yet. :)
I love the rhymes. I like the shapes and forms of the animals, they seem solid and geometric .. easy for a child to see and identify. I also like the bright colors.
Feb 16, 2021 added it
[Book #18 for my grad school Children's Lit class] ...more

I have been an avid fan of Eric Carle’s works, especially of his well-known children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and one of the books that Eric Carle had worked on that I did not get the chance to read when I was little was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” which was also written by Bill Martin Jr. All in all, this was one children’s book that children should definitely check out!

Since this story is extremely short, the summary will be brief.
Basically, the plot of this book is
Jennifer Brinkmeyer
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-child
This is the story of a teacher so dedicated that her students simply called her Teacher. She celebrated her classroom's multi-racial, multi-ethnic diversity with an array of class pets: a brown bear, a red bird, a yellow duck, a blue horse, a green frog, a purple cat, a white dog, a black sheep, and a goldfish. Some criticize her teaching methods, citing the dangers of bears in the classroom, but I stand by her choice to lead with alliteration in spite of any potential maulings. ...more
Shirley Revill
My children loved this book when they where small. A firm favourite on my bookshelf.
Angie **loves angst**
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My Kindergarteners made me read this to them five times on Friday at work. Five times!!!!! By the time I was done, I could tell every word to the story without looking at the pages. Some one please save me from pushy five year olds with a penchant for rhyming books.

Apr 05, 2008 rated it liked it
I wasn't really into this book when I was little, but this is my daughter's favorite book- so I have to give it 5 star props. Whenever we get to the black sheep, she yells out "BAAAAAA!"

Many mornings she wakes up and demands, "BOOK!" and if I don't pick this one, she yells, "Noooooooo! BOOOOK!" until I read her Brown Bear...
Shoeb Narot
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ By Eric Carle.

This is another great picture book by Eric Carle. You could happily read it aloud and enjoy it with a young audience. The children have lots of opportunities to join in, as the book focuses on using rhythmic and repetitive texts throughout. The illustrations are fantastic, a combination of bright eye-catchy colours with lovely examples of tissue paper collages used to represent the animals in the story.

The book begins with the reader askin
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bold move to not order the animals according to the ROY G BIV spectrum. Makes it slightly more challenging to memorize. I'm almost there, though.

My eleven week old daughter giggles like a maniac whenever I start reading this book to her, and she is particularly fascinated by the final page. Hence -- because of the maniacal gurgling and concurrent kicking -- five stars, although personally I found the narrative arc a bit flat.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
My daughter loves this for the animals and repetition. It does well to teach color, perception, and basic animal recognition. But it honestly gives me a headache with its dull repetition and lack of rhyme use when it so easily would have improved readability.
Amie's Book Reviews
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Any children's book by Eric Carle becomes an instant classic - and rightly so.

The illustrations are absolutely fabulous and are so wonderous that it would look gorgeous if each page was framed and hung around a baby's or child's bedroom.

I can't say enough good things about this children's book. If you do not already have a copy of this book for your child, you should buy it asap. You will NOT be disappointed.

5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Something tells me that I may be on the island alone, as today was the first time that I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? 🤭 Something also tells me that I enjoyed losing my virginity because I read the book with my students. More accurately, they read it to me!! 🤗 I can still hear the rhythmic cadence of Bill Matin’s story even as I write this review. 😉 And, then by adding the highly recognizable illustrations by Eric Carle, you are bound to have a truly enjoyable read.
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Definitely one our favorite books. Great illustrations and fun to say out loud. All my kids pretty much have the book memorized so much so that we recite it in the car. Easy reading, but a good book for an older sibling to read to their younger siblings and a great way to learn colors. A book the whole family loves.
I can't recall how many times I've read this for storytime over the years. A lot. That's the answer. It's a favorite for all. ...more
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
I read this with my children. Classic kids book! They have memorized it they love so much!
The narration was okay; the story is good.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-kinder
Great classic to help kinders begin to read by "retelling" the story. ...more
Okay so my kid leveled up a couple days ago and is now VERY into his board books, specifically this book. I have read this book 800 times in 2 days. He sits on the floor and just turns the pages of it. It is “slide and find” and he knows how to slide all the doors. He cries if I put it down after reading it 8 times in a row. I’ve learned a trick that resets the sliding door on the next page without him seeing. I have read this book a lot.

Anyway this is going to be a VERY LONG PANDEMIC with Eric
Kid Lit Reviews
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect Picvture Book Friday Post/Review
**This SIGNED edition, by ERIC CARLE, is up for a GIVEAWAY!. (See the link on review post). Last Day to Enter: Friday, June 9, 2017 (next Friday – 1 week.)**


“Fifty years ago, Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle collaborated on their first book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? This bestseller has been read and loved by millions of children.

“In this special anniversary edition, readers can enjoy the beloved classic in
Nov 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brigids-books
I've been eyeing this in the book store and thought it looked neat but wasn't sure if I wanted to spend $13 on a brand new book that would just be drooled on and sat on and gnawed on and have the spine cracked while testing the physical limits on how far one can turn a page backwards.

And then great grandma sent it to us in a birthday package. Problem solved!

The first time we read this book my daughter had a reaction to every single turn of the page. She gasped, pointed and said things like, "OH!
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: baby-h-books
Mom read me this today and I am not ashamed to say I threw a big fit. Not two days ago I heard my doctor specifically tell her that I can't see colors yet, and here she is taunting me with red, yellow, purple, green, etc. etc. GEEEEEEEEEZ! -M ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
What Do You See? I see another favorite of my grandson's, with rhyming repetition and bright, colorful drawings of animals and people. ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
A fun book that made me smile ear to ear. There is so much to see for the brown bear.

Neal Montgomery
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A thought provoking meditation on race relations. The question we all need to ask ourselves is, what do you see?
Laura McLoughlin
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The 2 year old "reads" this one to himself and it is adorable! (Although he doesn't always get the colors right, still adorable!) ...more
Izzy Dorrance
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book would be great for children either learning colours and animals in English or learning them in another language I.e in French or German.

There is lots of repetition throughout the book. So the only words that change on each page are colours and the animals.
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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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Bill Martin's Bears (4 books)
  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
  • Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
  • Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?

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