Babybear’s Favourite Books: ‘Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?’

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For Babybear’s recommendation today, I’ve chosen: ‘Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?’ written by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle (yes, this book was the inspiration for my daughter’s moniker). This book was a gift to Babybear when she was born and, despite the small library of books she has now, it has remained a consistent favourite.

The story shows a succession of North American animals, with each animal describing the actions of the next:

‘Striped Skunk,

Striped Skunk,

What do you see?’

‘I see a mule deer

Running by me.’”

The distinctive illustrative style of Eric Carle errs on the side of realism in comparison to most cartoony and bright children’s picture books but Babybear seems to love them: perhaps the simplicity of a single animal with white backgrounds on each page or the fact that the artistic illustrations are such a contrast to her other books.  She will happily sit at peace, engrossed by the pictures, as I read the full story with her, not something that can be said for many books at the moment!

The repetitive phrasing on each page (‘Screech Owl, Screech Owl, what do you see?’; ‘Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake, what to you see?’) makes it a great book to read aloud as the rhythm of the words read in a lovely, poetic way. The repetition is also good for encouraging your wee one’s understanding of language.

-Find ‘Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?’ by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find it, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

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