Updated: Feb 11
Our daughter, Sam, is five months old. At this age (and even earlier), there is one book that has always been our go-to book for infants and early toddlers. No, not Story Eggs. This -
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Why do we like this so much?
1) Each page has one dominant color - brown, yellow, red, blue, green, purple, black, white, and gold/orange. Too many other books have too much going on, especially for very young children.
2) It's repetitive. After a few times, you don't even need to look at the pages anymore. You can read aloud and make eye contact the entire time...or quickly and discretely check your phone.
Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me.
Red bird, red bird, what do you see? I see a yellow duck looking at me?
For me, this was a really nice book to read. You get in a rhythm, you pause and turn the page to the next animal as you say it's name, and then you continue. We used to read this books 20-30-40 times a day to Mikayla. Less so to Poe Poe, which I regret now.
3) It's a good way for very young children to start recognizing that colors and animals have names. By the time Mikayla was nine months old or so, I would ask her to find something that was purple. When she would hesitate, I would say, "Purple cat color...", and she would understand what I meant.
4) Even as they get older, there are a lot of things to talk about on the pages. The color of the animals' eyes. The words mane, tail, legs, teeth, nose, etc. This is such a useful and helpful book. Which led me to ask on social media at one point -
Can one have too many copies of Brown Bear, Brown Bear? And the answer, obviously, is no...
And once you have worn Brown Bear, Brown Bear down to the nub, there is still Polar Bear, Polar Bear, and Baby Bear, Baby Bear. According to Eric Carle, the demand from parents was so high for more books in the series that he eventually had to write more of them.