Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle)


Banned Books Week Day 6: Hello, friends! Today, our banned book is another favorite from our own library, the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. This fun and educational staple that explores colors and animals using repetition and rhyme has been a favorite of baby bookworms since it was released in 1967, including JJ. She adores Carle’s simple and colorful illustrations, and the text is fun and easy to read, plus the length is perfect for babies her age.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear definitely has the most ridiculous reason for being banned: in 2010, the book was removed from Texas public schools after a ban had been placed on the books of Bill Martin, who had written a philosophical examination of Marxism. Because a state board member had failed to do proper research on the fact that Bill Martin and Bill Martin Jr. were TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, which has frequently been cited by early education experts as being one of the best books to teach speech and literacy to young readers, was denied to children in the entire state of Texas.

This story is a perfect example of why banning books is so problematic: the opinions and preferences of a small group of people can deprive readers of books that can be essential to their development. The gut-reaction of the Texas School Board members, and the failure to do basic research into the authors and books that were being banned, deprived young children of an American classic.

So, exercise your right to read a banned book! We can definitely recommend Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? for your own little one! Baby Bookworm approved!

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