A Brown Bear and a Hungry Caterpillar

Yes, I’m talking about books again because I can’t let the passing of an exceptional children’s author and artist go by without paying my respects. As a child, I learned to count thanks to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And if you ask my kids what children’s book they loved growing up – it wouldn’t be anything by Dr. Seuss – it’s Eric Carle’s Brown Bear book.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
I see a red bird looking at me.

Red bird, Red bird, What do you see?
I see a yellow duck looking at me…

After the first 100 times reading this book to my kids at bedtime, two things happened – 1) I was pretty sick of it and 2) I memorized it word for word. This parenting trick came in handy when the kids got antsy in the back seat during long car rides. I’d recite these first few lines of Brown Bear, and they would calm down and join in. Sometimes, I would mess up the order on purpose, but the kids picked up on it every time.

(As a side note, I could also recite a mean Green Eggs and Ham).

So, what was so captivating? Was it the blue horse, the green frog, the purple cat, the white dog, the black sheep, or the goldfish? How about the beautiful illustrations and the rhythmic phrasing? Or was it just a cute brown bear with 20/20 vision?

I’d say – it was all of the above.

Thanks, Eric Carle, for teaching me to count and my kids how to read and for helping me make memories with my family that I won’t soon forget.

And by the way, I’m keeping this copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear┬áto read to my grandkids someday.

3 comments on A Brown Bear and a Hungry Caterpillar

  1. Melissa
    June 3, 2021 at 1:22 pm (6 months ago)

    Aww I did not know of his passing…I read many of his books to my students every year.

  2. Kebba Buckley Button
    May 27, 2021 at 11:15 pm (6 months ago)

    Thanks for sharing an author new to me. Sounds like his book/s were profound parenting helps. [I won’t ask again, I promise– do you want to put your name somewhere on this page? It’s good marketing.]

    May 27, 2021 at 10:04 pm (6 months ago)

    I love this blog. I too have read many times several books over and over to my children and now my grands. Thank you for sharing.


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