The Many Benefits of Reading ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’

Coming from a background in education and building a career working with children, it is no surprise that I have an obsession with children’s books. My husband has a near panic attack anytime I bring home ANOTHER book for the babes. He tries to remind me there is a thing called a library that allows you to borrow books.  The thing is, I just get so excited when I get to purchase books for my girls. I have many favorites in terms of children’s books but one of my ABSOLUTE favorites has to be ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?‘ by Eric Carle. The reason- there are so many benefits that result from reading this book!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear Book review

I will take you through some of the great learning goals that you can accomplish when reading this simple board book. Another great feature about this book, you can reach a wide age range of learners!

Early Literacy

With the high repetitious language, this allows for early learners to remember the content and read this story independently. Can they actually read the story phonetically? Maybe? But probably not quite yet. Can they actually read the story holistically? Probably not. However, they are remembering the story by memory and that is one of the early stages of literacy!

Early Literacy- Reading 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear'

My oldest daughter LOVES to read stories by memory and this builds confidence in her literacy skills. ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ is one of those stories that allows for this to happen. The more you read it, the easier it will be for your tiny tot to remember the story and read it independently.

The above image is a picture of my oldest daughter reading to her little sister. She is able to read ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ in its entirety and it is “all by herself”. Story time is such a frequent occurrence in our house, even little sister attempts to “read” the story too :).

So, once again, it is NEVER a bad idea to read a story more than once! You never know when your tiny reader will pick up the words and read YOU story time!


While we are on the topic of early literacy, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ also allows for increased comprehension skills. This story goes through a series of animals in a particular order. The more you read it, the more your tiny readers will remember all of the animals that were in the story!

After any read aloud, it is great to ask your reader about the story.

  • Who was in the story?
  • Which character was your favorite? Why?
  • What happened?
  • What was your favorite part?
  • When did this story happen?

These questions will not only increase comprehension, they will also aid in the development of language skills!

Learning Colors

Each animal is paired with a particular color… Perfect! A great way to learn colors. This is a perfect opportunity to begin teaching her this skill. As we approach each animal, I paired the particular color with the animal. I would praise any vocal approximation she attempted!

Now, my oldest daughter is almost 5 so she knows her colors already. However, this is a GREAT opportunity to teach her colors in a NEW LANGUAGE! Why not teach her colors in Spanish?

Emerging Vocals

‘Brown Bear Brown Bear’ is a fantastic book for increasing vocals. Here are a few ways to increase spontaneous vocals using this book.

  • With each animal, ask your child what animal sound they make. Animal noises are a GREAT way to begin introducing intentional sounds with children. They are ‘silly’ in nature and fun to produce which makes it reinforcing.
  • Ask your child what the name of the animal is (labeling).
  • Once they know the order of animals, see if your child knows which animal is coming next.
  • Ask your child what color the animal is (labeling)

Proper Sentence Structure

My oldest daughter sometimes struggles with proper sentence structure. She occasionally mixes up different adjective/noun combinations. When I would ask her what color the animals were, I expected her to tell me the color but I wanted her to tell me in a full sentence with appropriate sentence structure. This was a great opportunity for my oldest daughter to work on using adjectives and then nouns when describing the animals in the book!

When I asked my youngest daughter the same question, I was just working on expanding her vocals (she is almost two). She is not at the point of full sentences. So, I was prompting her to say the colors and then the animals by separating her words. She was accomplishing this task beautifully.

Although my daughters were doing the same task, they were being completed very differently and with different modifications!

Turn Taking

Lastly, my daughters LOVE the felt board that I made out of an old picture frame and some unused felt that I had laying around. I purchased the ‘Brown Bear Brown Bear’ storytelling kit from Lakeshore. While we read this story, my girls took turns putting the next animal up on the board! This teaches turn taking skills between the two of them!

'Brown Bear, Brown Bear' story board felt pieces

This felt board also helps to provide additional context to the story!


I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book! How have you used ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ to teach your child new skills?


4 Replies to “The Many Benefits of Reading ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’”

  1. I have read that story countless times! Brown Bear and Goodnight Moon were favorites when my daughter was tiny!

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