Monday, September 14, 2009

Let's Get Started!

The first three books we're reading at Hogarth this year are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar written and illustrated by Eric Carle. In our class discussions following the readings, we looked at Carle's illustrations and noted that the endpapers of the Bear books were illustrated with stripe patterns, and the endpapers of the Caterpillar book was illustrated with a dot pattern. References to stripes or dots within the children's comments relate back to that discussion.

In order to get the book discussion ball rolling, I asked each child to pick his or her favorite from among these books and talk about what made that book so appealing. If this didn't prompt a big response, I followed up with questions specific to their favorite book. If they picked either Bear book, I asked which animal depicted in the book was their favorite. If they picked the Caterpillar book, I asked which food they'd eat first if they were a hungry caterpillar.

I'll be posting the children's responses each day this week until all the kids have participated. Here's what some of the children had to say today.


Keegan: My favorite was Polar Bear. I liked the front cover. My favorite animal was the peacock because of his spots, and I never seen a peacock.

John: I liked them all because I liked when the zoo keeper came to feed the walrus in Polar Bear and because all of the kids were dressing up like animals. I like Brown Bear because the class was looking at the teacher and the teacher was looking at the fish and looking at the kids. I like The Very Hungry Caterpillar because of Monday, Tuesday and all of that stuff when they flipped over and there kept being more and more food. The Caterpillar one is my very favorite. I liked the way Eric Carle did the end papers. One had dots and one had stripes facing up and one had stripes going sideways.

Daniel: I liked the Caterpillar one best because it had the folds in the paper. I liked it when the caterpillar was a baby and I liked the part where it was a butterfly. It was really pretty.

Brady K.: I liked Brown Bear best because I liked the stripes on the end. My favorite animal was the purple cat because he's purple!

Sophie: I liked Brown Bear best because the teacher was reading the book about animals to the kids. My favorite animal was the purple cat because of the purple. I like purple.

(Note: Neither Brady nor Sophie heard the other one's purple cat preference. Mack in PK also referred to the purple cat. Obviously, this is a very appealing illustration.)


Kaitlyn: I liked the Caterpillar because it was super hungry and he ate too much and he had a stomach ache. If I was a hungry caterpillar I'd eat the apple first.

Katherine: I liked the Polar Bear book because it has a polar bear and I liked the stripes. I liked the zebra.

Eva: I liked the Caterpillar best because it ate a leaf up and then had a tummy ache, that's why. I liked the part where the caterpillar ate up all the food. If I was a hungry caterpillar I'd eat a leaf first.

Emmett: I liked Brown Bear best because it had a goldfish and a yellow duck.

Mack: I liked Brown Bear best because it had the kitten. It was purple. I liked that one. And she was licking her elbow. Meow! Meow! Meow! I can do the sound of her. That made me laugh.

Emelyn: I liked the Caterpillar because it was silly when you said the moon was an egg!

Summer: I liked Brown Bear. My favorite animal was the blue horse and I liked the goldfish.

Acadia: I liked the Caterpillar because I got it at home and it's my favorite book. I like the colors of the circles. If I was a hungry caterpillar I'd eat the pickle.


  1. It's wonderful hearing how much the children enjoy Eric Carle's books. I work at The Eric Carle Museum and just love his work. Eric identifies with the children and his books both surprise and delight. My favorite is The Very Quiet Cricket.

  2. Hi Sandy!

    I've been teaching preschoolers for almost 30 years, and have found that Eric Carle's work never fails to delight. Brown Bear, Brown Bear is always the first book I read each year. There couldn't be a more perfect introduction to the joys of preschool than this book.

    I visited The Eric Carle Museum a few years back (actually it was more of a pilgrimage) and loved it. I wish it was closer so that I could take my students there on a field trip.

    Thanks so much for visiting The Picture Book Project!

    Andrea Murphy