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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

What you need

A story with repeated refrains. Our top recommendations include: ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’ by Julia Donaldson, ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ by Michael Rosen and ‘Brown bear, what do you see?’ by Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle.


Language and the idea of story structure; a love for literature as they will get to join in!

The experience

Once children are over two, they will really benefit from reading books with familiar, repeated refrains and having a go at joining in with you. 

Enjoy the story together and point out the repeated refrain if your child does not immediately notice.  Bright, coloured illustrations and rhythmic repetition will really help to engage your child and encourage them to read along with you.

After reading the story, you could encourage your child to pair the story’s colours with items in your home, for example, “What can we find in the kitchen that is red, like the red bird?”