As a professional author, occasional illustrator and former primary teacher (oh, and current At-Home-Dad) I have come across many children’s picture books. I thought I would blog about the ones I like the best, giving reasons why they are so brilliant. There is no definitive list – I will write about the ones that really strike a chord with me (and my wee girl).
First up is ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?’ written by Bill Martin Jr & illustrated by Eric Carle of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ fame.
This book is one that I often read to my daughter and put aside only to find she would crawl over to her book box and pluck it out. Many a time she would plonk it in my lap, snuggle up and open the cover – all with a look of expectation and impatience.
The text has a gentle rhythm and satisfying flow as it repeats throughout the book. ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? I see a …. looking at me.’ The bear sees another animal that in turn sees another … until children come in sight. In one version a teacher features but our version just has the animals.
By 18 months – and just a few weeks after getting the book – my daughter was ‘reading’ it herself, turning pages and saying the words aloud from memory. It was a joy to behold. She loves to commit texts to memory and say them aloud in the car, while drawing etc.
For me, the real delight is in the inspired illustrations. They are (I think) made by careful placing of coloured tissue paper. Sometimes the paper overlaps to create satisfying blocks of darker colour. The ripped edges add to the appeal.
At the front and back of the book Eric Carle added pages decorated with just strips of colour which meant my daughter could see all the colours that related to each animal featured in the book. Soon she was able to name each colour and use this skill in everyday life. Her collage work began in earnest – and she now enjoys creating pictures out of brightly coloured torn paper.
I rated this book so highly I gave a spare copy to the local doctor’s surgery so that other children could happily enjoy the captivating words and pictures.
What more can I say? If you like colourful, engaging children’s picture books that feature dynamic rhymes and lots of animals then this is the book for you & your child.
Of course, you might also like to consider downloading a sample or two of my cute Wee Bear picture ebooks 🙂
‘Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle (UK link)
‘Cuddle Muddle‘ – available on kindle (US link)
‘Wiggle Jiggle’ – available on kindle (UK link)
‘Wiggle Jiggle’ – available on kindle (US link)