Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle

POINTS: 4 out of 10.

Bechdel:  0 points
Variety of characters: 1 point
Good story: 2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point

There’s not a lot to this one, really. So frankly, it’s pretty amazing it scores so highly. There is no dialogue really, so it can’t pass Bechdel. At its base it’s a very simple colours and animals book. And it wouldn’t score that highly, except on the second to last page there is a page of children. And these children include a multitude of shades and cultures.

And really, it’s that simple – one illustration that doesn’t assume that every child who looks at the book will be white. Nice job Eric. 🙂 (Also, I’d like to point out that with that one illustration, this book shot to the mid-range on our metric. We’re not exactly setting a high bar here, folks.)

There really isn’t much plot. The book s very simple and very pretty.I am a big fan of Carle’s illustrative style, and of course that’s entirely subjective, but it’s a great book to read with my just-learning-to-read son. It would be great with younger kids too – colours and animals, what’s not to love, right?

There’s not a great deal more I can say. We enjoyed reading it. It’s very pretty. It has pictures of children of all colours. It’s a win really. 🙂 Recommended.


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