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Happy Birthday, Brown Bear!

brownbearbrownbearwhatdoyouseeBrown Bear, the well-known character in the book by Bill Martin, Jr., and Eric Carle, has been with us for 50 years!

Babies and toddlers continue to delight in this story, and it’s one of our favorites to use during storytimes at the library. Everyone reads it aloud together!

Brown Bear can teach important skills that help prepare babies, toddlers, and young preschool children for reading, helping them not only to recognize colors and name animals but also to further develop language and vocabulary skills.

We recently celebrated Brown Bear’s birthday at our PreK Surprise program. After reading the book together, children were able to paint Brown Bear’s “fur” with a fork pressed into some brown tempera paint.

You can try this at home! Print out a picture of Brown Bear and either paint or color with your child. Cut out the finished picture and tape it to a straw or a Popsicle stick and it becomes a puppet!

Encourage your child to walk around the house with the puppet, asking, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” This will help your child to expand his or her vocabulary in an imaginative way. Just as the characters Brown Bear sees in the book start out in a traditional way and morph into the more unusual – such as a purple cat – you can encourage your child to get silly with what Brown Bear sees at home. Does Brown Bear see a red cup? A yellow banana? An orange orange? What if Brown Bear sees a lime orange? Feel free to expand the descriptive color words to include turquoise, aqua, lime, and magenta with your slightly older child.

You can find a printable picture of Brown Bear at the Super Coloring website:

And watch a baby delight in the story as read by her uncle on the Youtube video here:

If you don’t own a copy of Brown Bear, visit the library to check one out!

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