What does a polar bear hear? Why, all of the animals in the zoo, of course! What about the zoo animals? They hear all of the children pretending to be animals, in this sequel to Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle’s classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?
Children love repetition in picture books, and this book delivers. Every page asks “(animal, animal) what do you hear?” and the replies “I hear (another animal making a sound)”. The next page then asks the second animal what it hears. The text is simple, but effective. The illustrations are by Eric Carle, and that is really all that one needs to say to indicate that they are fabulous and perfectly suited to the book. If you need more detail, they are his characteristic tissue paper collage. Each page has a single animal on a white background, except for the last page which is filled with children in costumes.
This book works particularly well as a read-aloud to a group of children. If you’re reading this aloud, whether to one child or a dozen, encourage the listeners to participate in the story by making the animal noises depicted. It will be loud, but well worth it, since the kids will have a ball!